There is a well-established rugby tradition at Down High School and the coaching staff give up a considerable amount of free time both after school and on Saturdays to develop the individual and team skills of the boys at all age levels.
Each new season brings new team members and new challenges, with every school, coach and team looking for ways to improve and move forward. Recent accolades, which include an increasing number of players being rewarded with representative honours, would suggest that Down High rugby is in the ascendancy. In recent times the school has boasted an Ireland Under-19 international in Tommy Seymour, while Jeremy Nash, Andrew Harper and Alex Scott have all been selected for Ulster squads at their age groups. First Team coach Mr Ivor Monaghan has been selected as a member of the coaching team for the Under-17 Ulster Rugby Squad.
Tours are now an integral part of Down High School rugby at all levels and both junior and senior tours have in the past laid firm foundations for solid and successful seasons. The most recent tour to Canada in the summer of 2008 was for each and every boy, one of the highlights of their time at the school. It is our aim that this tradition of touring continues.
Many of our Middle School players have made great strides and are regularly turning out for the senior squads, a development which augurs well for Schools Cup campaigns in the near future. Stuart Orr, John Donnan, Matthew McKeown, Devon Wright, Aaron Cairns and Robbie Dagher have all demonstrated great skill and ability throughout the season.
The junior squads contain a nucleus of players who played mini-rugby together at Ballynahinch RFC. This experience, along with increased training and games, has enabled them to secure excellent wins over many leading Ulster grammar schools.
Players such as Jamie Thompson and Luca Rea are already displaying maturity beyond their years, while Gareth Crory achieved a record-breaking 46 tries during the 2007-8 season.
Given the dedication of the coaches, the ambition of the boys and the enthusiastic nature of our weekly support, bright times are predicted for rugby. Look out for the regular updates on this site.