Egremont’s young player development programme was in full swing on Sunday when the club hosted a tag rugby festival for boys and girls under the age of eight years.

More than 80 players participated in the festival from clubs throughout Cumbria, and many of these young boys and girls were getting their first taste of the sport.

The hope will be that many of them developed an appetite for rugby and could have futures with the club.

The success of the programme was well illustrated on the same day at the older end of the pathway when nine under-16 players represented Cumbria in matches against Northumbria.

Jensen Burney, Dylan Biggins, Koby Conway, George Fisher, Ethan Johnstone, James Messenger, Luke Pae, Jack Telford and Lewis Whitehead all acquitted themselves well, with Dylan and Jensen both scoring tries.

As a result of outstanding individual performances, both George and Lewis have been selected by Newcastle Falcons to attend their rugby academy.

They will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Rob Farrer, who came through Egremont’s development programme before attending the Falcons’ academy.

Rob signed a full-time professional contract with the Falcons at the start of this season, following outstanding performances for the England under-18 team.

He has just been selected in the England under-20 elite player squad for the forthcoming Under-20 Six Nations Tournament and the Under-20 World Cup, which will be held later this year.