YOUNGSTERS from Sedgley Park played a part in creating history as they participated in last weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, hosted by Sale Sharks.

Since being launched during the 2008-09 season, the nationwide grassroots rugby event has seen more than 70,000 children take part.

The 10th anniversary of the event was hosted by the Sharks at Manchester Rugby Club on Sunday.

Sedgley's under-11s and u12s sides were among more than 40 teams to take part, and even got the chance to strut their stuff in front of a host of Sale players, including first-team stars Paolo Odogwu and Jake Pope.  

And while the the two Tigers teams failed to win through to next May’s Aviva Premiership final, Sedgley youngster Noah Nethercott insisted he loved every minute of the experience.

“I really enjoyed the tournament, despite getting a nosebleed," said the 11-year-old Whitefield-born scrum-half.

"I was enjoying the rugby so much, I didn’t even notice!

“It was a shame not to win, but we have won quite a few tournaments in the past.

“We played a few new teams which is good because it’s a bit of a challenge.”

Teams from across the county will compete at various festivals hosted by the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs this season, with the opportunity to earn a trip to the Aviva Premiership final on May 26, where they will meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador, join in a Land Rover Premiership Cup parade at half time and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.

Sedgley Tigers' young players did at least get the chance to rub shoulders with rugby’s elite, and Odogwu admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.

“It’s been great coming down to watch all the kids – it takes me back to when I first started getting into rugby at my secondary school,” said the winger.

“I thought back to when I used to be the same size as everyone!

“It’s great that such a big company like Land Rover is taking such an interest in the game.  

“The sport is growing at such a rapid pace and the fact that companies such as Land Rover are backing the game at grassroots level shows just how much of an impact rugby can have in the years to come.”

Land Rover is celebrating its ‘Testimonial Season’; ten years of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. The national series of grassroots rugby festivals is testament to Land Rover’s continued support of grassroots rugby through its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal