Wilmslow RUFC triumph in the U12 Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup while Lymm RFC are the U11 champions
Sale Sharks hosted an exciting and competitive under 11 and under 12 grassroots tournament this weekend, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. This successful series of nationwide tournaments continues to grow, allowing young rugby players to showcase their abilities in a professionally run environment.
The under 12 final was a fantastic spectacle for those in attendance, with the impressive Wilmslow keeping their composure to secure a fine victory over Sheffield RUFC, who showed great integrity in defeat and made sure that they challenged Wilmslow right until the final whistle. In the under 11 final, Lymm were triumphant, playing with great confidence to defeat Caldy RUFC, who displayed great resolve to ensure that Lymm had to be at their very best throughout the match so that they could be crowned Regional Champions.
As well as winning the tournament, the young players have also won places in the prestigious Land Rover Parade of Champions where they will be presented to a sell-out crowd at Twickenham during the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final next May.
Winning captain Ben Kersh, from Wilmslow, was excited to be there on the day and said: "I'm very proud and happy that the team played so well. The atmosphere at Twickenham will be incredible and that is what I'm most excited for.
"Our teamwork was our strength and we really bonded as a team. We did well in the rucks as well and built on what we've been doing in training.
"The final was tough as our opponents were quick but we did what we came to do and I'm really happy.""
In addition, the Land Rover Spirit of Rugby Award, which goes to a player who demonstrated the values of rugby, was given to Oliver Parry of Stockport RUFC Parry who has only been playing rugby for a month, showed exemplary fair play when he jumped at the chance to join the rival Manchester RFC team who were a couple of players light.
Participating players at the festival also had the opportunity to meet Sale Sharks quartet Tom Brady, Will Cliff, Joe Ford and Ross Harrison who took time out of their schedule to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games. Ross Harrison commented on the importance of grassroots rugby: "Getting the kids out and playing is obviously massive for them and their development as players. Minis rugby is really important and you make a lot of new friends from your area as well, not just your school.
"I used to get a lot of enjoyment from getting a run out at these kind of festivals, and it is not just about getting the win at this level as it's more about getting everyone out here playing.""
For more information on the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup please visit: www.premiershiprugby.com/landrovercup