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Rugby Schools’ Cup: Carrickfergus

Every week in Local Heroes we look at teams who will take part in this year’s Rugby Schools’ Cup. Carrickfergus Grammar are next up, with coach Neal Kennedy giving us the lowdown on his squad.

Matt Montgomery (Loose Head) - Powerful scrummager and a good ball carrier. Part of a mobile front row unit and as a senior member of the pack he always leads by example. Has a high work rate for a prop.

Edward Montgomery (Hooker) - Now in his 2nd year as 1st choice hooker. Accurate thrower at the lineout and acts as an extra back row forward around the pitch. Excellent scrummager has a good work ethic.

Jonathan McIlwaine (Tight Head) - Aggressive scrummager. Has excellent hands for a front row forward. Destructive in the tackle and gets into good positions at the breakdown to exact turnovers. A key player in a relatively lightweight pack.

Craig Patterson (2nd Row) - Extremely mobile 2nd row forward who gets through a lot of work around the park. A reliable source of possession at the lineout despite being relatively small for a 2nd row.

Marc Gordon (2nd Row) - 1st season in the 1st XV and has been the most consistent performer to date. His height makes him an asset at set pieces. Having previously played outhalf in the Junior School, he has great hands and can act as an extra link in attack

Karl Love (Blindside Flanker) - Pack Leader and vice captain. Quick back row forward who is a key ball carrier for the team. Also provides an extra option at the tail of the lineout. An intelligent player who reads the game well.

Jordan Davidson (Openside Flanker) - Very industrious member of a mobile back row unit. Good reader of the game who cause oppositions problems at the breakdowns. New to the side this year but has made the step up successfully from the 2nd XV. Capable of making big tackles in defence despite being small in stature!

Nathan Greenwood (Number 8) - Deceptively quick for a number eight and a powerful runner. Very skilful and has the potential to be a game breaker. Good skill level and always strives to keep ball alive at the breakdown.

Russell Stockman (Scrum Half) - Slick passer of the ball who has improved greatly this season as a result of a regular run in the side. A skilful all round footballer who on his day is capable of making telling breaks around the breakdown. Has a good appreciation of the game and keeps his forwards going forward.

Andrew McIlroy (Out Half) This year’s captain. Member of Ulster Schools U19 for the last two seasons. Andrew is a hugely influential player for us and can unhinge the most organised defences. Has a great left foot that can set up good attacking opportunities. Has worked a lot on his goal kicking and it is now paying dividends.

Ross Moore (Wing) - Irish Schools 4x100m relay finalist so has great pace. A dangerous runner when given space and is strong in the tackle. An important member of a pacy back three.

Matthew Surgenor (Inside Centre) - New to the side this year and he continues to improve. A powerful runner who is capable of defence splitting runs. Makes some big tackles in defence

Adam Moore (Outside Centre) - Athletic outside centre who has caused teams a lot of problems this season. A strong and powerful runner who has already scored 7 tries. The team’s most potent threat in attack and given space, he can cause a lot of problems.

Stephen Hackworth (Wing) - Enjoying his move to the wing having played at inside centre for the early part of the season. Very elusive runner with a great sidestep.

Brian Alexander (Full Back) - Another Irish Schools relay finalist. A good strike runner from deep and is a reliable last line of defence. Has greatly improved his kicking game.

Ethan McBrien (Prop) - Never lets the side down when pressed into action. A good scrummager and destructive at the breakdown. Has worked hard to improve his all round game.

Stuart Davis (Hooker) - Excellent all round skills and a very accurate lineout thrower. Great skill level and very mobile.

Joshua Whitall (Back Row / 2nd Row) - Reliable utility forward who can play anywhere in the back five of the scrum. Strong in defence and a good ball carrier. An additional option at the tail of the lineout

Chris Patton (Back Row) - Industrious back row player who has been a regular feature in the 1st XV squad over the past few seasons. A real nuisance at the breakdown and has an aggressive edge to his game.

Will Johnston (Open Side) - Key member of the team for the last three years. Unfortunately he suffered a nasty leg break in a pre-season training match but is working hard to regain his fitness. Could provide impetus to the side when he returns

Michael Patterson (Scrum Half) - Trained with Inter-Provincial Squads in Clongowes last summer. Superb passer of the ball who makes good sniping runs around the base of rucks and scrums. Has really benefited from the extra space provided by the ELV’s. A key player in an exciting back division

Peter Moore (Out Half) - Has played several times this season and has performed well. A very elusive runner who mixes up the play well with some solid line kicking and good distribution. Deceptively quick for an out half and has scored plenty of points this year from both open play and from kicks at goal

Stuart McKane (Full Back) - Injury has curtailed his involvement this season. Has good vision and kicks very well from the hands. Safe under the high ball and a solid last line of defence.

Miles Canning (Wing) - Strong running winger who runs some excellent lines in attack. Very high work rate for a winger and has good skills in contact.

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