Ampthill Rugby Club U12s narrowly missed out on appearing at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham after playing at a festival organised by Saracens recently.
The youngsters took part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup – a nationwide series for U11 and U12 teams at Mill Hill Rugby Club.
The tournament was organised by Saracens and saw Ampthill as one of more than 30 teams competing. Youngster Ross Gibbs, 11, said: “It was a big day and it was a shame we did not get there because it would have been wonderful for our team to play the final on the Saracens pitch.”
Saracens starlet Nick Isiekwe added: “It is good for the young guys to get the chance to play somewhere like this and I am very impressed with how good the skills were.”
We wanted more, we wanted to play the final on the pitch but sadly it did not happen for us. It was my first live match and so it was very exciting.”
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup has seen nearly 68,000 children take part to date, from all over the country, providing opportunities for U11 and U12 players to play, develop and excel in the game.
Launched during the 2008-09 season, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is the first national grassroots tournament officiated by Premiership Rugby and run in conjunction with all 12 clubs.
The festivals around the country celebrate rugby’s traditional core values of team work, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship, rewarding players conduct, side-line conduct and game play.
And Saracens took a break from Premiership Rugby action on Saturday to support the event at Mill Hill, with academy starlet Nick Isiekwe highlighting the importance of junior rugby in the club’s future success.
“It’s great to have a competitive but fun day, allowing kids to express themselves because as a kid you want to run around and have fun,” the 18-year-old second row said.
“The enthusiasm from the coaches is great, really encouraging them to have fun, which is the main thing: rugby is about having fun, enjoying yourself and being with friends, and this kind of environment is great for that.
“It is good for the young guys to get the chance to play somewhere like this and I am very impressed with how good the skills were. These players are the future.
“You could see on and off the kids they were all having fun. The atmosphere was really positive and it will only help all these guys going forward.”
PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR – Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and has been a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade. Land Rover’s ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign continues to champion grassroots rugby through Premiership Rugby and the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal.