Banbury Rugby Club’s Under-11 team will be part of May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham after earning the opportunity at a festival organised by Northampton Saints at the weekend.
Banbury were drawn to represent the region during the half-time interval of the Saints’ Aviva Premiership game against Wasps on Saturday after taking part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup – a nationwide series for U11 and U12 teams – at Franklin’s Gardens.
They will head to Twickenham next May to meet a 2003 Rugby World Cup winner, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time and hear which of the team’s players has won the Land Rover MVP award.
Twenty-seven teams from across the country headed to Franklin’s Gardens to compete in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup and take part in a half-time parade, and Banbury player Joseph Armstrong said was a great experience.
“It was a great moment to find out about going to the Aviva Premiership Final, especially as all my teammates were next to me,” Armstrong said.
“We didn’t know we were going to Twickenham, it’s amazing. We were going mental when we found out.
“When someone told me we were going to Twickenham, I thought they were joking. It’s a dream.
“The day was amazing. We had a slow start but we built up. That’s the Banbury way.
“I loved everything about the tournament. The coaches were amazing, the kids were really sportsmanlike, and it was well organised.
“Everybody abided by the rules and that’s what makes a good game of rugby.”
Saints hooker Dylan Hartley took time to visit the tournament on the Franklin’s Gardens training pitches, meeting the youngsters, their coaches and parents. And the England captain highlighted the importance of junior rugby in the club’s future success.
He said: “Having the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup at Franklins Gardens is always a great day of rugby; youngsters look forward to it each year and the quality of rugby on show reflects this.
“For the teams taking part, they get the chance to play in meaningful fixtures and learn the core values of the game, something that is important from a grassroots level all the way to the elite.
“It is great to see support from the likes of Land Rover for the development of the game that is such a big part of my life.”
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.
Over 7,000 children take part in the competition each season, with two teams from each Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup getting the chance to go to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham on 27 May.
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.