CLUB SPOTLIGHT: The Preston Grasshoppers

Founded: 1869

League: 1st XV play in National 2 North

Sharklinks: Preston have been a pool for Sharks past and present. Notably, the boss, Alex Sanderson represented the club alongside fellow Shark, Mike Haley who now plays over the waters at Munster.

Most recently Preston created two Premiership finalists as Sam Dugdale and Arron Reed, honed their skills at Lightfoot Green Lane before starting their professional journey. Not to mention, senior academy players Harry Thompson and Will Riley are still playing their trade at Hoppers on dual registration.

Preston is now honing the next female Sharks, notably with Connie Clarke who has come through the ranks at Preston’s girls section, to represent Sale Sharks Women’s Centre of Excellence, and going on to represent England U18.

Favourite Sharks Moment: There’s been many trips to watch Sale Sharks with the club, both Home & Away. Preston is one of our platinum clubs, having bought over 400 tickets to watch our lads this season. Their passion and dedication to our club is seen by all here, especially when they came down to Twickenham to watch our first Premiership final outing in 17 years.

Club Goals and Community Links: Preston do a sterling job for their community, with continued work to support local food banks and raising money for the Salvation Army. But they are also a strong driver for growing rugby across the North West with their mini and junior section currently having over 500+ boys and girls registered but also open rugby up to everyone in their local community, with their walking and touch rugby programmes.

Hoppers hope to continue their already flourishing girl’s section, which now have an U11’s team as well as U13’s, U15’s and U18’s due to the rise and growth of women’s rugby up North! The club continuously works hard to continue to provide an opportunity for all women to play competitive rugby. Whilst their male teams are looking to compete at the top end of the league next season, whilst developing the young talent within the club to encourage youth development into 1st XV squad players!

Find out more about The Preston Grasshoppers here

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