Hundreds of young rugby players got the chance to showcase their skills on Sunday as the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup returned to Sale Sharks.
Manchester Rugby Club hosted an exciting Under-11 and Under-12 grassroots developmental festival on Sunday, where the best teams in the area met to lock horns and show off their talent, with sportsmanship prevailing on a memorable afternoon.
This successful series of nationwide events, now running for nearly two decades and organized by Land Rover – the Official Vehicle of Premiership Rugby – has seen more than 100,000 children take part, with some realising their dreams of going on to play for Premiership Rugby clubs.
And for Anselmians Rugby Club’s Toby Kent, it was a memorable experience as his side showed some incredible talent against tough competition.
Kent, 11, who displayed flashes of his England and Sale Sharks hero Tom Curry, said, “It feels amazing to be here today and play some really good teams.
“Sale Sharks are a really big club so it’s great to be here today – me and my team have loved it.”
The competition was a fantastic spectacle for those in attendance, with the highly competitive fixtures providing a meaningful platform for youngsters to develop their rugby skills.
There will be an Under-12 ‘winning’ team at each festival, with the prize being a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Trophy and a trip to Twickenham for the Premiership Rugby Final, while the successful Under-11 team will be selected for the same prize based on their demonstration of the core values of the game during the festival – respect, togetherness, strength of character and composure.
The highly competitive fixtures have a history of providing a platform for youngsters to develop their rugby skills as they realise their ambitions, and the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup counts Harlequins’ Louis Lynagh and Newcastle Falcons’ Callum Chick amongst its graduates.
Land Rover ambassador and Sale Sharks player James Harper said, “It doesn’t seem so long ago I was here playing – about ten years now.
“It’s really good to see the kids enjoying themselves. We’ve been around to see some of the teams today and we’ve also luckily been blessed with the weather!”
Sale teammate Nick Schonert added, “Grassroots rugby is about being social and having fun – it’s great to see the kids back on the pitch and making lifelong bonds.”
Land Rover has been supporting grassroots rugby in the UK for nearly two decades through the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. Follow the latest Land Rover rugby activity on Twitter @LandRoverRugby #DiscoverRugby
Image: Anselmians Under 12s