Hoppers rewarded for talent development

Date: 15 November 2017

Hoppers were rewarded for their commitment to developing young talent by Sale Sharks at the Premiership Club’s 2nd ‘100 Club Presentation’ at the AJ Bell Stadium on Monday night.

The event hosted by Sale Shark’s Director of Rugby, Steve Diamond, and Commercial Director, Mark Cueto celebrates the strong partnership between the Sharks and local clubs across the North West (the ‘100 clubs’) working together through the Developing Player Programme (DPP) to develop and keep playing talent in the North West with an aim to have 70% of the Sale Sharks team from the North West by 2020.

Chairman of Mini Junior rugby, Hugh Duckworth was presented with vouchers to the tune of  £4000 by Sale Sharks for our part in the development of two of the next generation of Sale Sharks players, namely Matt Sturgess and Arron Reed.

Both Matt and Arron were awarded 5 year contracts by Sale Sharks earlier this year and were part of a flourishing Sale Sharks Academy that is focussing on developing and nurturing local talent to provide a solid base for the future of the club. Matt and Arron also made their First team debuts for Sale in the recent Anglo-Welsh cup tie against Worcester.

Matt, a former Hutton Grammar school pupil, joined Hoppers as an Under 12 and played in all Junior teams as well as representing Lancashire before enrolling on the rugby course at Myerscough. His performances earned him a place in the Sale academy and played in the  Sale side that were runners up in last years Premiership Academy league final.

Arron started playing at a young age but only joined Hoppers relatively late in his Junior career attracted by the flowing style of rugby played at Hoppers. He subsequently joined Kirkham Grammar Sixth Form playing in the highly successful team there and has represented Lancashire and England.

Matt and Arron are not the only ex-Hoppers Mini/Junior talent at Sale; Mike Haley is a regular in the Sale first team and has played for England Saxons and prop Jake Pope is also  in the Sale Sharks squad and the England Under 20s squad. Waiting in the wings are  Kieran Wilkinson and Sam Dugdale, both awarded long-term contracts at Sale aimed at  keeping them there on a full-time basis.

At Hoppers we are extremely proud of the achievements of these young players and wish them all the best for their futures in the game. Their achievements are a great reflection of the Club, the Mini/Junior section and all Coaches at Hoppers and the part they play in identifying and developing the talent of local youngsters.

The Mini/Juniors also have a great tradition for developing talent for the Hoppers First team squad with the following players featuring in the 1st and 2nd XV over the last two or three seasons; Jack Edwards, Harrison Moulding, Tyler Sloane, Sam Gale, Oli Yates, Alex Ward, Ryan Wilkinson, Niall Crosley, Luke Proctor, Paul Millea, Jacob Brown, Oga Mabaya, Dom Aspinell, Harry Holden, Craig Proctor and James Mawdsley.

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