The Royal Belfast Academical Institution





Rugby is one of the major winter sports played at RBAI; Rugby has been played formally since 1872. The Ulster Schools’ Cup was introduced in 1876 - overall RBAI have reached 57 finals, winning the Cup 32 times and sharing it on 4 occasions. Of most recent note was the treble success of the 1st XV who won the Schools’ Cup in 2014/15 and retained it for the next two years. The Medallion (Under 15) competition was introduced in 1910 and RBAI have competed in 52 finals, winning 35 times and sharing the trophy on 3 occasions.

Each year RBAI is very well represented in the Ulster Schools’ Squads at both Under 19 and Under 18 level, with many of these boys going on to represent Irish Schools’. Past pupils have also regularly gone on to play for Ulster – recent examples being Michael Lowry and James Hume who left RBAI in 2017. Most notably Inst is Ireland’s leading school in the production of senior International players and British and Irish Lions. To date, RBAI has produced 85 Internationals and 13 Lions, 2 of whom were captains, Sammy Walker in 1938 and Robin Thompson in 1955. In terms of rugby administration, 20 former pupils have been President of the Ulster Branch and 10 have been President of the IRFU.

Past pupils James Hume and Michael Lowry have become our most recent Internationals, with James earning his first cap vs. USA in July 2021 and Michael earning his first cap vs. Italy the 2022 Six Nations.


Past Pupils James Hume and Michael Lowry after representing Ireland vs. Italy in the 2022 Six Nations.


Past Pupils representing Ulster Rugby. L-R Mr D Soper, Michael Lowry, Callum Reid, James Hume, David McCann, Robert Lyttle and Kyle Alexander.

Rugby at RBAI

RBAI strives for success in excellence and participation and to enhance the sense of identity in each player. Rugby at RBAI aims to;

“Foster an enthusiasm for Rugby in an environment where continuous improvement enables players to achieve their highest potential, both individually and collectively.”

In addition to promoting sporting excellence, the Rugby Club is also proud of its inclusive approach with close to 300 boys representing teams each Saturday. RBAI has a particularly strong fixture list - playing against local competitors in Ulster as well as schools in Leinster and Munster.

The Rugby Club Development Pathway aims to develop players across 4 main areas:

  • Technical (Skillset)
  • Tactical
  • Physical (Condition)
  • Psychological (Mental Skills)

For up-to-date information on the Rugby Club, please follow our Facebook page by clicking

Staff List 2021-22:

Director of Rugby

Mr J. Kirk

1st XV

Mr J. Kirk

Mr R. Hedley

2nd XV

Mr P. Sheppard

3rd XV

Mr M. Lyttle


Mr S. McMullan

5th XV

Mr P. McLernon

Medallion ‘A’ XV

Mr G. Monteith

Medallion ‘B’ XV

Mr R. Menown

Medallion ‘C’XV

Mr J. Peak

Under 14 ‘A’XV

Mr D. Lambe

Under 14 ‘B’XV

Mr A. Scott

Under 14 ‘C’ XV

Mr A. Douglas

Under 13 ‘A’ XV

Mr D. O’Neill

Under 13 ‘B’ XV

Mr J. Wilson

Under 13 ‘C’ XV

Mr J. Patterson

Under 12 squads

Mr A. Allen

Mr J.Peak

Strength & Conditioning

Mr S. Thompson

Rugby Fixtures 2021-2022 - Please note, fixtures are subject to change, so please check our Rugby Facebook page for latest updates



25 2022
Years 8 & 10 Report Deadline
26 2022
KS1 Sports Day
31 2022
Scouts DoE Year 11 Silver/Year 10 Bronze
31 2022
Scouts DoE Year 10 Bronze Qualifying
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
© 2022 The Royal Belfast Academical Institution