Introduction to Schools Rugby

Introduction to Schools Rugby

Danske Bank Schools’ Cup

The Danske Bank Schools’ Cup is the world’s second oldest rugby competition (after the Hospitals Cup), having been competed for every year since 1876. It is run by the Ulster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and has been sponsored by Danske Bank since 2005.

The competition kicks off in December, while the traditional St Patrick’s Day Final at Kingspan Stadium is one of the great occasions in the rugby calendar and eagerly anticipated by all followers of the game.

As well as the main School’s Cup competition, the tournament also includes a number of subsidiary competitions including the Schools’ Bowl, Medallion Shield, Subsidiary Shield, and Schools’ Trophy.

Danske Bank Girls Schools’ Cup

Danske Bank Girls Schools’ X7s Cup

The cross-field 7s (contact) version of the Girls Schools’ Cup is played off over a four event series throughout October, December, February and March.

There are Junior and Senior competitions available for schools to enter, culminating in the Senior Final at Kingspan Stadium and the Junior Finals played as a blitz format at the Mid-Ulster Sports Arena.

Danske Bank Girls Schools’ Tag Cup

The Tag (non-contact) competition is open to all secondary school aged girls but is primarily aimed at the more experienced Tag schools or older players.

Games are 10-a-side and are held on a one-day blitz format in March/April at the Mid-Ulster Sports Arena.

Girls Schools’ Development Tag

Development Tag is an option available to secondary schools who possibly aren’t ready for competitive competitions.

It is open to all secondary school aged girls but aimed at newer schools or younger teams.

Games are played up to 10-a-side (minimum of 7) and are run on a regional blitz format in March.

For more information on any of the Girls Schools’ rugby formats, contact

High Schools Rugby

High Schools rugby within the Province is aimed at providing developing and non-traditional rugby schools the opportunity to play more regularly. While these are all structured competitions the primary objective is to give the participants more opportunities to play.

Below is a list of current competitions.

U18 High Schools Cup

Knockout competition running September to December.

U16 Pollock Cup

Regional pool competition with the top teams from each pool competing in a provincial knockout competition for the Pollock Cup. Begins in September with the final in December.

U16 High Schools Trophy & Plate

Knockout competition with teams seeded from their performance in the U16 Pollock cup. Runs from January to March.

U15 High Schools Sevens

Two regional blitzes with the top teams qualifying to play in a national blitz day in Dublin. Blitzes run in April with national finals in May.

U14 Shield and Trophy

Regional pool Competition with the top teams from each pool competing in a provincial knockout competition for the Shield, with the remaining schools competing for the U14 Trophy. Runs from October until February.

U14 Bowl

Developing U14 schools competition. Regional qualifying blitzes and with the top 8 teams competing for the Bowl at a provincial finals day. Runs January to February.

Year 8 Tournament

Regional qualifying blitzes and with the top 12 teams competing at a provincial blitz day. Emphasis is on participation and blitzes run February to March.

For any enquiries about High Schools rugby, please contact

Maxol Primary Schools Festival

The Maxol Primary Schools Mini Rugby Festival has been running for over 20 years, involving around 100 schools across the Province.

The event kicks off in April where schools participate in blitzes around their local area. This is followed by a Festival at Kingspan Stadium where schools are invited to attend this event.

The focus of this Festival is about providing opportunity for all in a safe and enjoyable environment.

REGULATIONS School Regulations: Cup Competitions 2019-20

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