Wellington on a mission to upset the odds against rivals Belfast HS
Belfast High School will start as favourites to reach the second round of the Danske Bank Schools' Cup when they face Wellington College tomorrow morning (10am).
Both sides are young and inexperienced but have great enthusiasm and determination to reach the next stage.
Wellington have lost 15 players from last season, and with no 2nd XV their replacements are limited. This has created problems for the coaching staff ably led by Peter Chambers, who has managed to gel the squad.
"We have a couple of outstanding players, including our No.8 Adam Savage. He is big, well conditioned and a leader, while centre Jake Hamilton will show his pace," he explained. "The other centre, Marcus Smyth, along with Savage, are our top try scorers. I know the boys will give their all and with home advantage I hope for a good turnout."
Belfast High School have a slightly better record but contain only two upper sixth pupils in their squad.
Their No.8, Ryan Gibson, is captain, and there are fast backs behind him. Scott McDowell is the Ulster Schools' 400m silver medallist and, along with Gibson and Brandon McMinn, was part of the senior boys team that won the inaugural 4x400m Ulster Schools' title.
Coach Mickey Rainey is pleased McDowell is available for selection after recently recovering from a hamstring injury.
"He is fit again and will be dangerous if given ball and space. All in all we are young and inconsistent but are perfectly capable of putting in a decent spell at times," he said.