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, who currently plays for the full Ulster team. Jeremy Nash, Andrew Harper and Alex Scott were all chosen for for Ulster squads at their age groups. In 2010-11, three players have represented Ulster Schools at Under 19 and Under 18 levels. They are Aaron Cairns, Stuart Orr and John Donnan.
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 and a tour of Canad and the USA is due to depart.
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.
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.
Click on the link to go to the website of Down High Rugby: http://www.downhighrugby.com/index.html