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Director of Rugby, Brian Smyth and Head Coach, John Andrews are delighted to announce Ronan McCusker as our 1st XV/Club Captain for season 2020/21.


Ronan has played with the club since underage level and has represented Ulster A as well as stints playing in the USA. The McCusker family have a proud history within Rainey Old Boys as Ronan played on the 1st XV with his 3 brothers, Phillip, Michael and John in the promotion season of 2016/17 and their father Ronan (Chico) who also played for and captained the 1st XV in the 80s and 90s, all the while supported on the sidelines by their mother and wife, Carol.

 

The Club are delighted to have Ronan as 1st XV Captain and look forward to the season and wish him well for the year ahead.

As the business end of the season looms ahead, Rainey Old Boys face a demanding schedule from Saturday until the end of February.  Having clinched the SONI Premiership Section 1 title before Christmas with an impressive home win over Banbridge, they chose to field a shadow outfit in a meaningless fixture against Malone at Gibson Park and were duly hammered.  This decision has been criticised in some quarters, but, in view of the difficult programme that lies ahead, it is perfectly understandable that the squad were given a welcome break.

While Rainey Old Boys can feel well satisfied with their season to date, they know that a very demanding period lies ahead.  Three AIL fixtures, followed by two important SONI Ulster Premiership ties before Christmas will fully test them.

 

In order to be competitive in 2A, they had to replace several players with similar ability and add strength in depth to the squad.  This they managed to do, with the new faces settling in well and making an early impression.  The unexpected availability of lineout star Ronan McCusker has been a huge bonus and the form of young back-row Jack Bresland a real revelation.  If they can avoid long-term injuries, this Rainey squad is capable of holding its own in any company.