The draw for the 2016/17 Top Oil Schools Cup was held in the Sportsground ahead of the Connacht v Treviso Guinness PRO12 match last Saturday.

Over 60 teachers, rugby masters, coaches and pupils gathered in the hospitality marquee as Chairman of the Connacht Schools Committee and Master of Ceremonies for the event, Chris Davies, oversaw the drawing of all six cup competitions, a record number for the province.

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Draw, The Sportsground, Galway 7/12/2016 General view of the attendees of the Top Oil Schools Cup draw Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Former schools players, and current professionals with Connacht Rugby, Conan O’Donnell (Summerhill College, Sligo) and Darragh Leader (St Josephs, Galway) were on hand to assist with the draw, as were Connacht Rugby’s Senior Vice President, Brian O’Beirn and Sales Manager with Top Oil, Lisa Lillis.

Guests at the event were treated to words of wisdom from Head Coach Pat Lam who spoke about the importance of a vibrant and competitive schools competition, and he went on to stress the vital role schools rugby plays in developing young athletes, citing the record number of Connacht players representing Ireland this year and the number of current Connacht professionals who have come through the schools system here in Connacht.

Chris Davies thanked everyone for their continued participation and payed special tribute to both Lisa Lillis and to Top Oil for their ongoing partnership with schools rugby in the province.

One of the highlights of the event was a presentation to former President of the Association of Referees, and ACRB Representative to the Connacht Schools Committee Mick Roche, who was presented with an award for his outstanding contribution to Connacht Schools rugby after over 40 years of service.

Click here to view a full list of pools and competitions: http://community.connachtrugby.ie/compmenu/

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Draw, The Sportsground, Galway 7/12/2016 The Connacht Schools Trophy, sponsored by Top Oil Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The Connacht Schools Cup Trophy, sponsored by Top Oil
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Draw, The Sportsground, Galway 7/12/2016 Connacht's Darragh Leader and Conan O'Donnell at the Top Oil Schools Cup draw Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Connacht’s Darragh Leader and Conan O’Donnell at the Top Oil Schools Cup draw
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Draw, The Sportsground, Galway 7/12/2016 Connacht's Darragh Leader and Conan O'Donnell at the Top Oil Schools Cup draw Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Connacht’s Darragh Leader and Conan O’Donnell at the Top Oil Schools Cup draw
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Draw, The Sportsground, Galway 7/12/2016 Lisa Lillis - Sales Manager Top Oil, at the Top Oil Schools Cup draw Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Lisa Lillis – Sales Manager Top Oil, at the Top Oil Schools Cup draw
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Draw, The Sportsground, Galway 7/12/2016 Connacht Schools Chairman Chris Davies presents Mick Roche with an award for his Exceptional Service Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Connacht Schools Chairman Chris Davies presents Mick Roche with an award for his Exceptional Service
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Draw, The Sportsground, Galway 7/12/2016 Pat Lam addresses the attendees at the Top Oil Schools Cup draw in the Sportsground Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Pat Lam addresses the attendees at the Top Oil Schools Cup draw in the Sportsground
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

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