Christmas came early for North Waltham under-12s and Hinckley under-11s on Sunday as both sides booked their spots at Twickenham at the last Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup before the winter break.
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 Premiership Rugby clubs.
In total, more than 7,000 children will participate over the course of the season as they go in search of a spot in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade of Champions during half-time of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final.
There were plenty of potential stars on show on Sunday at Oakham Rugby Club, as Leicester Tigers hosted 32 different teams taking to the field in under-11s and under-12s tournaments.
In the under-11s, Hinckley were in devastating form, looking impressive throughout the group stages before seeing off West Bridgford RFC in a tense final.
After falling a try behind, Hinckley battled back brilliantly and eventually ran in four tries to guarantee a spot at rugby HQ on 28 May, and 10-year-old Ben Kenison could not have been prouder of his side.
“It feels great, absolutely amazing,” he said. “It was a great effort from the whole team and we’re over the moon.
“We didn't start too well today but knew we could score some tries and got better as the day went on. I can't wait to go to Twickenham, it should be great fun.
“I’ve been playing rugby since I was five and I’m still really enjoying it. My dad used to take me to rugby and football, but I always preferred the rugby.
"The day was really fun, the team bonded well and we’d like to play a few more festivals like this now.”
Meanwhile, North Waltham under-12s were in similar form, sweeping aside everyone in their path in their pool matches before beating Market Harborough RFC in their final.
And 11-year-old fly-half George Loose believes his side have a star of the future in their ranks in centre Sam Crossley – who scored a sensational hat-trick in the final.
He said: “Before today, we thought we were going to make it to the final, but we didn't know we were going to come out on top overall.
“Sam had a really good game for us. He's a big unit and we use him for a lot of our play, he's a big part of our game plan.
“We're going to celebrate now and can’t wait to go to Twickenham.”
Leicester Tigers were out to support the day with Charlie Thacker casting an eye over proceedings.
Thacker, who is looking to emulate elder brother Harry in becoming a key member of Richard Cockerill’s first team this season believes he saw several players with huge potential.
“It’s a massive occasion for these kids,” Thacker said. “It’s a great chance for them to showcase their rugby and a fantastic prize on offer with the chance to go to Twickenham.
“I wish my brother and I had this sort of rugby to play in when we were kids. We played in festivals but nothing on this scale – this is a very impressive event.
“It’s really important for Tigers to get out into the community and support these kids, and you can see how much it means to them.
“It’s lovely to be here and see the kids go mad for it, and for them it’s all about enjoyment at this stage.”
Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade. Land Rover's 'We Deal In Real' campaign aims to champion grassroots rugby. To find out more about the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, visit premiershiprugby.com/landrovercup. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal