Rainey Old Boys R.F.C.

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Rainey Old Boys
Full nameRainey Old Boys Rugby Football Club
Nickname(s)Old Boys/(South D Seals)
Ground(s)Hatrick Park, Magherafelt, Northern Ireland
Coach(es)John Andrews & Damien Campbell
League(s)AIB Division 2A
2010-116th AIB League Three
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Rainey Old Boys Rugby Football Club is situated in the market town of Magherafelt, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland playing in Division 2A of the All-Ireland League.

At present, they field 4 senior teams and 3 youth teams (the Rhinos) under-18s, under-16s and under-14s.


Magherafelt R.F.C. was founded in 1928. Some success was gained up until the Second World War. A few games were played during the war years and from 1947, the club became known as Rainey Old Boys R.F.C., in recognition of its connection with the local Rainey Endowed School. After initial success, a barren period followed and it was not until the mid-1960s that the club began to go places.

In 1983 they won the Towns Cup for the first time. On that team were twelve times capped Harry Steele and brother-in-law, Alan McLean, an Ulster regular who toured Australia with Ireland in 1979.

The President from 1984-1990 was Dr. A.A. McConnell, who was a member of Ireland's Grand Slam side in 1948.

Rainey proved to be a good cup side but were relegated to Section 2 in 1986. They won Section 2 the following year but slipped back down again in 1994 despite reaching the Towns Cup final for the sixth time in twenty years. With former Ulster lock Charlie Simpson as player/coach, they won the Towns Cup in 2001 and were promoted as champions the following season.

Former Ballymena RFC No. 8, John Andrews, took over as player/coach when Charlie moved on to Dungannon RFC, and led the side to the Qualifying League 1 title in 2005. In the play-offs they beat Monivea 21-8 at home before losing 14-13 at Naas and 18-17 at Nenagh Ormond.

Having added some strength in depth to the squad, they started last season by beating Ballymena 2XV in the Past Players’ Cup Final. After twelve straight wins in the league, they came unstuck at Armagh on New Year's Eve but regrouped to beat second placed Limavady 53-3 and retain the title. In the inaugural All-Ireland Junior Cup the luck of the draw helped them to beat Cork side Kanturk 47-9 and south Dublin outfit, Seapoint 31-12 at home. A big crowd travelled south to see them beat Youghal 27-5 at Lansdowne Road in the final. Then on successive Saturdays, they beat Westport 36-0 away, Youghal 34-0 and Monkstown 32-16 at home to win the round robin play-offs and clinch their place in the All-Ireland League.

At the end of the 2006/07 season John Andrews left to join Dungannon RFC as their new head coach.[1] In his 5 years at the club he guided them to 2 Ulster Qualifying titles, the Past Players' Cup, the All-Ireland Junior Cup, runners-up in the Towns Cup and qualification into the All-Ireland League.

The 2006–07 season featured Rainey's first appearance in the AIB League. Rainey finished in a mid-table seventh place in Division Three.[2] In addition Rainey finished in sixth place in their first year in the Ulster Senior League.[3] On 17 July 2007 it was announced that Willie Anderson had been appointed as club coach.[4] Willie Anderson left at the end of 2007–08 season and Rainey appointed Rhys Botha from Ballymena as coach for the 2008–10 seasons.[5]

A young player (Phelim Trainor) who has had his fair share of misfortunes in recent months succumbed to the pressures of the "rugby lifestyle". (Saturday 14 November 2015) Inspiring weeks of training set up the young sportsman with the chance to play for the illustrious 2nd XV vs Armagh only to be dealt a bad hand the morning of the match and was asked not to play in favour of a superior player. When this news broke it was widely rumoured his decline to the 3rd XV and then 4th XV has yet again broken the young man's spirit.

Current status[edit]

Rainey Old Boys finished 10th in AIB Division Three in the 2008–09 season.[6]

Rainey Old Boys finished 10th again in AIB Division Three in the 2009–10 season and 6th in AIB Division Three in the 2010–11 season.

The following season they narrowly missed out on promotion to AIB Division 2A, coming 5th in the 2011–12 season. Finishing 4 points behind second place and promotion.

In the 2012-13 they won AIB Division 2B, going undefeated in the league the whole season, winning 14 and drawing 1. Having scored more points, as well as conceding less, than any other team in the whole All-Ireland League, they gained promotion in some style. In what was to be the most successful season in the club's history, they also reached the final of the Ulster Senior Cup against all the odds, knocking out giants of ulster rugby Dungannon R.F.C. and Malone R.F.C., both away from home, en route to Ravenhill.


Management 17/18[edit]

Chairman : Oliver McShane (Ireland)

1XV Team Manager / Director of Rugby : Brian Smyth (Ireland)

1XV Head Coach : John Andrews (Ireland)

1 XV Assistant Coach : Damien Campbell (Ireland)

1 XV Strength and Conditioning Coach : Ryan Keating (Ireland)

1XV Captain : Damien McMurray (Ireland)

2 XV Coach : Peter Boyle Aka Boyler (Ireland)

2 XV Captain : Andrew Donaghy (Ireland)

3 XV Captain : Phelim Trainor (Ireland)


Dr A.A McConnell - Ireland

Nathan Amos - Israel Israel

Harry Steele - Ireland

Stephen McKinstry - (Ireland Under 19s)

Stephen Beattie - United States United States Under 19s

Michael Glancy - (Ireland Under 21s)

Connor Lavery - (Ireland Under 19s)


  1. ^ "Dugannon RFC website announcement of John Andrew's appointment". Retrieved 2007-08-09.
  2. ^ "RTE Rugby Tables - AIB League Division 3 2006-07". Retrieved 2007-05-05.
  3. ^ "Ulster Rugby Senior League Table 2006-07". Archived from the original on 2006-11-23. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
  4. ^ "BBC article about Willie Anderson's appointment as club coach". BBC News. 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
  5. ^ "Northern Constitution article about Rhys Botha appointment". Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  6. ^ "RTE AIB Division 3 Table at end of 2008-09 season". Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  7. ^ Belfast Newsletter. 26 April 1976. p. 12. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]