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Tyrone duo set to clash after round one draw is finalised

By Niall Crozier

The draw for 2013-14 Danske Bank Schools' Cup has pitted Co Tyrone neighbours the Royal School Dungannon and Omagh Academy against one another in round one.

And Omagh old boy, Willie Anderson, who attended yesterday's Ravenhill launch in his capacity as Sullivan Upper's coach, was keen to point out that the Schools' Cup – the second-oldest competition in world rugby – is as important, prestigious and popular as ever.

"It's a fantastic competition for boys of this age. I know some of them might play for Ulster Schools and Irish Schools, but the Schools' Cup still means everything."

"I know that's certainly true of Sullivan; this is the competition they train for and work so hard for. There's a great buzz about it year after year – great excitement, great colour. For many of the boys who play in it, the Schools' Cup will be the pinnacle of their rugby careers," he said.

"They'll never forget it – especially those who make it to a St Patrick's Day final at Ravenhill."

Ivan McMinn, Head of Corporate Banking at Danske Bank and John Robinson, President of the Ulster Branch, made the draw which included five past-winners in Foyle College, Grosvenor Grammar, Regent House, RS Dungannon and Wellington College.

The other six ties are: Foyle College v Friends' School Lisburn, Carrickfergus GS v Portadown College, Banbridge Academy v Larne GS, Lurgan College v Antrim GS, Regent House v Wellington College, Grosvenor GS v Cambridge House (fixtures to be played on January 11).

The seven winners will be joined in round two by Bangor GS, BRA, Coleraine AI, Down HS, Limavady GS, Belfast HS, Portora RS, Dalriada School and Rainey Endowed.

The eight top seeds – holders Methodist College, Ballyclare HS, Ballymena Academy, Campbell College, RBAI, RS Armagh, Sullivan US and Wallace HS – enter in round three.

Stuart Olding, a Danske Bank Schools' Cup finalist with BRA in 2010, then helped with the draw for the Medallion Shield.

The first round ties (scheduled for December 7) are: Cambridge House v Antrim GS, Ballyclare Secondary v Limavady GS, Belfast Boys' Model v Strabane Academy, Carrickfergus GS v Wellington College.

The winners – plus Larne GS and Ashfield Boys' HS who received byes – will be joined in round two by Banbridge Academy, Bangor GS, Belfast HS, Foyle College, Lurgan College, Omagh Academy, Portadown College, Portora RS, Rainey ES and RS Dungannon.

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