Sale Sharks fan Owen Barnes couldn’t believe his luck when capped off his first visit to the AJ Bell Stadium by winning two tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 30 May.
The 11-year-old was on the way to watch Sale’s 23-6 victory over Gloucester Rugby with his teammates from Southport Rugby Club when he took part in the ‘Grab a Ticket’ competition.
In the inflatable dome outside the ground before the game, Owen, a year seven Stanley High School pupil, caught more paper tickets in 30 seconds than anyone else.
And the youngster admits he's thrilled to be heading to rugby HQ, especially with Sale still in the hunt for an Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final after last weekend’s result.
“I’m really excited, I can’t wait,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I’d won. I thought I had caught quite a lot of tickets but I didn’t expect to win.
“I’m a Sale fan so it would be great if they managed to get to the final.
“My dad’s definitely coming with me – we’ve been to Twickenham before but to go to the Aviva Premiership Final will be amazing.”
The ‘Grab a Ticket’ machine will have travelled to all 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs by the end of the season, with the winner at each ground receiving two tickets to next month’s Twickenham showpiece.
Owen topped the charts at Sale with a score of 44 tickets to book his place at the final and mum Alison admitted her son is counting down the days until the big match.
“It was Owen’s first trip to watch Sale,” she explained. “His coach has season tickets so he took the whole Southport team along in a mini-bus for the match.
“Owen loved the experience of watching Sale so he can’t wait to go to the Final.”
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