Lewis Kenyon and his Chew Valley U12s team were left grinning from ear to ear after securing a spot as part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham in May following success at this weekend’s Bath Rugby leg of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
Chew Valley received the incredible prize after taking part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup – a nationwide series for U11 and U12 teams – on Sunday at Trowbridge Rugby Club in Wiltshire.
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 an U11 and U12 team from each Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup getting the chance to go to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham on 27 May.
Kenyon and Chew Valley U12s will be heading to Twickenham on May 27, where they will meet an England 2003 Rugby World Cup winner, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time and hear which member of their team has won a Land Rover MVP award.
The tournament was organised by Bath Rugby and saw Chew Valley as one of more than 30 teams that took part in the festival, starting in a pool with North Dorset, Corsham and Melksham on Sunday morning before eventually overcoming Olney in the final.
“It is difficult to describe just how big it is to get to Twickenham Stadium with the team,” said Kenyon.
“It will be a great experience to be at the final and see all the professional players play on that big pitch.
“We love the contact as a team and I think the physicality of the game helps everyone bond together a lot more because we are fighting for each other on the pitch.
“And I think playing rugby helps everyone be better at communicating and you make good friendships when you play together.”
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) March 26, 2017
Chew Valley will be joined at Twickenham by Worthing Raiders U11s after they also earned the opportunity to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade.
Worthing Raiders played group matches against North Dorset, Melksham, Dorchester, Devizes, Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon and Bath.
“It was a great day all round. It means so much to be picked to go to Twickenham because all of the lads have played so well and we are really proud of each other,” said Worthing Raiders co-captain Miller Cole.
“Playing rugby gives people a lot of belief in themselves and they can gain confidence by playing the sport.
“When we were down we never gave up and we just kept on going and supported each other all the time.
“We have been trying so hard together so our team has done well.”
— Joo (@jooleroo) March 27, 2017
Bath Rugby prop Will Vaughan attended to present the prizes and sign autographs and spoke about his memories of grassroots rugby.
He said: “I remember playing in one of these tournaments in Taunton when I was just 12 years old and it is great to see all the players enjoying themselves today.
“The standard of rugby has been really high today with lots of the boys feeling really comfortable on the ball, back when I was that age we used to just give it to the big guy to run it.
“But the young players are all loving the physicality and can also play with some flair and that only comes from having good skills.”
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.