JUNIOR stars from Leigh RUFC and Tyldesley RUFC are continuing to make waves in youth rugby thanks to their performance at this weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.

The two teams took to the pitch at an event hosted by Sale Sharks on Sunday, helping celebrate the 12th season of the nationwide grassroots rugby initiative.

More than 85,000 children have taken part to date – enough to comfortably fill Twickenham Stadium – providing developmental experience for young players to excel in a professionally run environment.

Sale Sharks played host at Manchester RFC, with more than 30 teams strutting their stuff across an under-12 and under-11 festival.

In the under-12’s competition, Leigh and Tyldesley demonstrated plenty of effort and skill but fell just short of earning a trip to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on June 20.

That honour instead went to Chester Rugby, who will get the chance to meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time, plus find out who has won the Junior Land Rover Discovery of The Season award.

But despite missing out on a place at Twickenham, Tyldesley’s Sam and Leigh’s Louie enjoyed playing their own way for their clubs.

Sam said: “My favourite thing about rugby is channelling my anger and battling for my team. I don’t really have a position either - I can play anywhere.

“I enjoyed today a lot. My favourite team is Sale Sharks which made it extra special.”

Louie said: “The best thing about rugby is kicking. I don’t score many tries, but I do get quite a few assists.

“My favourite team is Sale Sharks and my favourite player is probably Faf de Klerk. Hopefully one day I can be like him.”

Participating players at the festival also had the opportunity to meet Sale Sharks player Luke James, who took time out of his schedule to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games.

He commented on the importance of grassroots rugby, helping to provide developmental experience for young players to excel in a professionally run environment.

He said: “First and foremost it's a good chance for the kids to have fun, enjoy their rugby and to get lots of games in and enjoy what they’re doing.

“It’s great to see the talent running around the pitches. There were some really good skills going around and it’s just good to see everyone out.

“We had these exact events - I actually played for Manchester Rugby Club so I was playing in this same tournament when I was a junior.

“I remember coming here with hundreds of people crammed into a rugby club - it’s great.”

Land Rover has heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite, sharing and understanding the values at the heart of the game. Follow @LandRoverRugby