Ballyclare player gets game time for Ulster A in inter-provincial clashes

Ballyclare Rugby Club and former Ballyclare High School 1st XV Captain Jack Gamble, recently gained some much-earned minutes playing for Ulster Rugby A side in his first year out of school.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 12:09 pm

Jack, who was involved in games with Leinster and Munster, explained what it has been like playing rugby with Ulster Rugby during the lockdown restrictions and getting game time.

He said: “Having the rugby has been great, not only for keeping my fitness and skills building but even for some form of normality in seeing my mates and having a bit of banter during the day.

“Getting some game time for the A’s was a brilliant experience and it felt great to get on the pitch and play after a long block of training and no matches.”

Pictured last week for Ulster A.

Jack made a very smooth transition from school rugby into club rugby and played in the opening games of the season for Ballyclare RFC.

Detailing his progress, Jack stated: “Club rugby and Ulster is definitely a lot different than school, a lot faster paced, but it’s an exciting new challenge and there’s lots of opportunities that I’ve enjoyed challenging myself on.”

Commenting on Jack’s development, Ballyclare Rugby Club coach and his former school coach, Mike Orchin-McKeever, said: “JG is a joy to coach and I’ve loved being close by to see his journey from an U12 player to now.

“He is a very grounded lad, has his focus on his university studies and enjoys his rugby. His leadership qualities are exceptional and I look forward to see him develop further.”

Scoring a try for Ballyclare.

Last weekend Jack furthered his rugby experience by playing 7’s rugby for Ulster.

Jack continued: “The 7s was great fun as well, it’s a totally different game and really challenges your skillset.

“It was awesome to play against and meet the Irish boys in their prep for the World Series, pretty surreal to be on the same pitch as them to be honest!”

Mike added: “We would have some fun at school and interchange playing roles, Gambler would be challenged to move into inside centre from number 8 for plays, here he had exposure to seeing different pictures in the game and can react really well to options in front of him. All I’d say is keep enjoying it Jack.”

Playing for Ballyclare High over a year ago.


Click here to read World Superbike hero Jonathan Rea to receive ‘low key’ Freedom honour


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.