YOUNGSTERS SHINE AS SHARKS HOST PREMIERSHIP’S DEFENDER CUP  

The longstanding Defender Premiership Rugby Cup festivals (previously Land Rover Premiership Cup) returned this season with Sale Sharks hosting the annual grassroots rugby event for youngsters on 10th March 2024 at Manchester Rugby Club. 

Some of the region’s brightest young rugby stars got the chance to show off their skills as teams from Manchester, Stockport, Lancashire, Liverpool, Birkenhead, and surrounding areas locked horns in front of watching Sharks Tumy Onasanya , Ewan Murphy, Cobus Wiese, Connor Doherty and Morwenna Talling.  

Almost 40 under-11s and under-12s sides took part with the winners in each age group securing a spot at this year’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby season finale at Twickenham in June. 

The winning team from the younger group, decided by nominations based on their sportsmanship and dedication to rugby’s core values, was Tarleton.  

Nastassia from Tarleton RUFC said: “To win was a huge achievement. The moto at Tarleton RFU is one badge, one club and the whole club share the pride and joy the team, coaches and parents felt at the Defender Cup.  

“The team are so excited to be representing Sale Sharks at the Premiership final. To have the opportunity to stand on the pitch at Twickenham is a dream come true for these boys! With one of the boys saying, “it feels like winning the world cup.”. The coach has even rearranged his holiday to be there.  

“We would like to thank everyone once again at the Sale Sharks foundation for such a great tournament and we look forward to coming back next year to defend our title.” 

And joining them from the older category will be Sale FC, who secured the under 12s title. 

The events are designed to provide aspiring young players with the chance to play competitive fixtures in a format to aid their development, all within the spirit of rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship. Allowing them to learn vital lessons, that will serve them both on and off the rugby pitch. 

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