New era for rugby beckons for Cambridge House pupils and staff

Cambridge House Grammar school rugby team and coaches pictured with Ulster players Andrew Warwick, Ricky Andrew and Luke Marshall. INBT 39-802H

Cambridge House Grammar school rugby team and coaches pictured with Ulster players Andrew Warwick, Ricky Andrew and Luke Marshall. INBT 39-802H

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Cambridge House teams are looking ahead to the new rugby season after a number of changes behind the scenes.

The players’ preparations were given a boost last week when they enjoyed a training session with Ulster players Ricky Andrew, Andrew Warwick and Luke Marshall.

The new coaches of the Cambridge House Grammar School rugby ready for the new season. INBT 39-803H

The new coaches of the Cambridge House Grammar School rugby ready for the new season. INBT 39-803H

The rugby coaching staff at CHGS have been supplemented by the arrival of Mr John Nicholl as the school’s boys PE teacher.

He is an experienced coach with a level 2 coaching qualification and is currently the assistant backs coach for Ballymena Rugby Club’s first XV.

Mr Nicholl is supported by the two Rugby Development Coaches Mr Chris Smyth and Mr Jamie Smith. Chris has been coaching at CHGS for three years and currently plays for Ballymena firsts.

Jamie is a past pupil of CHGS and played professional rugby for Ulster and Gwent Dragons.

Their collective rugby experience is shaping the schools rugby squads and will hopefully lead to increased participation and an improvement on the playing fields of Cambridge Avenue.

Mr Seamus Mallen has been employed as a temporary Technology teacher and he also played professional rugby for Ulster in recent years. He will be assisting Mr Maurice Bell with the U14 squad.

Mr Michael Glass will be guided by Mr Timmy Small another past pupil currently setting the All Ireland league 1B alight with BRFC.

He will bring much needed knowledge and enthusiasm to those practice sessions.

Mr Maurice Finlay is the coach for the U13 teams and is a leading player at Ballyclare Rugby Club. He will be supported by BRFC 1st XV player Jordan Foster.

Mr John Nicholl has also recruited past pupils Andrew Cundell, Philip Small, Thomas McIlroy and Callum Patterson to aid with the Under 12 saturday morning camp.

This has all been made possible by the continued support from the parent led Rugby Development Group which has seen a recent change of leadership after Steven Spence passed on the Chairmanship to Sam Wilson on a temporary basis after many years of dedicated service to this group. Mr Spence has been a calm but determined force behind this group and will be sorely missed.

Cambridhe House has thanked Mr Rab Gregg for his 13 years of leadership and guidance in all matters concerning rugby.

Everyone at Cambridge House wish wish him all the best as he begins his new challenge as Head of PE in Dalriada.