Mark John Cueto started out his rugby career as a mini rugby player in Cumbria in the 1980’s before moving further south with his mum, dad and older sister to Cheshire. It was there that he played social rugby before progressing to Altrincham Kersal Rugby Club where he was spotted by Sale Sharks and invited to join the Jets Academy Team.
Further to the success of former Sale Shark Jason Robinson with the British and Irish Lions in 2001, the club approached the new rugby season without and out an out right winger. Mark was handed the number 14 jersey for the Dave Baldwin Testimonial Game against Worcester in the summer of 2001 where he scored a hat trick of tries.
He went on to play the remainder of the Sale Sharks pre season warm up games before making his full first team debut at Bristol RFC. Mark again scored a try on his first appearance and indeed during the season he was the clubs top try scorer, helping Sale Sharks secure second place in the Premiership as well as winning the Parker Pen Shield.
Mark’s performances for Sale Sharks didn’t go unnoticed by England and as a result he toured Canada with the England Churchill Cup team that same summer.
He continued to score tries on a regular basis for his club and was capped at full level for England against Canada in the 2004 Autumn Internationals, scoring two tries on his debut. Another successful season for Sale Sharks followed and he was honoured with selection for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand. Part of the ‘mid week massive’ he went on to play in the third and final All Blacks Test match.
The following season back in Stockport, he helped Sale Sharks take the Premiership title and was a regular on the England team sheet throughout the year.
2007 saw Mark playing for England in the World Cup in France. Who will ever forget how close Mark came to scoring a try against South Africa in the final at the Stade de France in Paris, only to have it ruled out by the video referee? (Even though Mark still claims to anyone who will listen that it was a try!)
He continues to shine for both club and country, whilst giving more and more of his spare time to support his charity’s as well as the future of rugby through his role as RFU YAZOO Tag Rugby Ambassador. When his home county Cumbria was flooded in 2009, he did a series of high profile media interviews to highlight the involvement and the RFU got behind Mark’s initiative raising a big sum to help all those in need.