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BALLYMENA ACADEMY
PUPILS WHO HAVE WON IRELAND INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CAPS

 

Tom Smyth

Played for: Malone, Newport, Ireland
Number of Caps: 14
Highlights: International player from 1908 - 1912
Captain of Ireland 1909 - 1910
Captain of the Lions to South Africa 1910

Tom McClelland


                       Tom McClelland is second from the right in the back row

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1914 - 17
Played for: QUB, Ireland
Number of Caps: 16
Highlights: Played for Ireland during the years 1921 – 1925. In 1923 he played in the Ireland and Scotland v England and Wales Centenary Match.
Selected to go on the British Lions tour of South Africa in 1924 but declined because of studies

 

Robin Gregg

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1942 - 49
Played for: QUB, Ireland
Number of Caps: 7
Highlights: Won his first Irish cap against France, 1952 - 53

 

Joe Gaston

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1942 - 48
Played for: Dublin University, Ireland
Number of Caps: 8
Highlights: Won his first cap against France

 

Sydney Millar

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1946 - 50
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Ireland, British Lions
Number of Caps: 37
Highlights: Debut on 19/04/1958 when he won his first Irish Cap against France in ParisPlayed in 9 test matches for the Lions - 3 with the 1969 side to Australia and New Zealand, all 4 with the 1962 team in South Africa and 2 more in 1968, also in South Africa.
Presently Chairman of the International Rugby Board

 

C. J. (Ian) Dick

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1947 - 54
Played for: QUB, Ballymena RFC, Ireland
Number of Caps: 8
Highlights: Debut 11/03/61
Won his first two Irish Caps against Wales and France

 

Willie John McBride

 

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1952 - 58
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Ireland, British Lions
Number of Caps: 63
Highlights: Debut 10/02/62 when he won his first Cap against
England

Made 17 test match appearances in 5 Lions tours

Captaincy of Ulster, Ireland & British Lions 
Captain of the Lions in their epic 1974 Tour of South Africa where they remained unbeaten in 22 matches.

 

 

 J. S. (Jimmy) Dick

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1948 - 57
Played for: QUB, Barbarians, Ireland
Number of Caps: 1
Highlights: Debut 10/02/62when he won his International Cap against England

 

 

Wallace McMaster  

   

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1950 - 64
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Ireland
Number of Caps: 18
Highlights: Debut 29/01/72 when he won his first Irish Cap against France in Paris

 

J. A. (Ian) McIlrath

 

 

 

 Attended Ballymena Academy: 1957 - 64
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Ireland
Number of Caps: 5
Highlights: Debut 17/01/76 when he won his first Irish Cap against the touring Australians

 

 

Steven Smith  

  

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1972 - 79
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Ireland, British Lions
Number of Caps: 25
Highlights: Debut 23/04/88 when he won his first Irish Cap in
Ireland’s Millennium International against England
 

Chosen for the British Lions Team to tour Australia, 1988-89, thus becoming BallymenaAcademy’s third British Lion

 

 

Philip Rainey

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1971 - 78
Played for: QUB, Ballymena RFC, Ireland
Number of Caps: 1
Highlights: Debut 18/11/89 when he won his Irish Cap against the All Blacks

 

 

David Humphreys  

   

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1983 - 90
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Dungannon RFC, Ireland
Number of Caps: 72
Highlights: Debut 17/02/96 when he won his first Irish Cap against
France

Ireland’s most capped out-half

Has scored no less than 560 points – an Irish record at the time

Has captained Ireland 5 times
163 appearances for Ulster

 

 

James Topping

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1986 - 93
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Ireland
Number of Caps: 8
Highlights: Debut 12/11/96 when he won his first Irish Cap against Australia

 

Matt McCullough

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1993 - 2000
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Ireland
Number of Caps: 4 to date
Highlights: Debut 12/06/05 when he won his first Irish Cap against
Japan

 

Bryan Young

 

Attended Ballymena Academy: 1992 - 99
Played for: Ballymena RFC, Ireland
Number of Caps: 9 to date
Highlights: Debut 17/06/06 when he won his first Irish Cap against the All Blacks

 

All photographs with the exception of Ian McIlrath's and Brian Young's are taken from The Braid.

 

Manythanks to Mr. W. Cameron for undertaking the hours of painstakingresearch that enabled the production of this list. Additional researchby Mr. R. McClean.

Text compiled by Mrs. Starrs 

 

No doubt, in spite of our efforts, there may be other old pupils who have attained Irish International status.  Theschool would welcome details of such information for inclusion in thesenotes and any other information that might add further detail to theabove list.