Northampton Saints hosted their Under-12 Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup on Saturday and it was another successful day for Silhillians.
Just a month after their Under-11 side booked a place at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final in May, the Under-12s followed suit.
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 at Franklin’s Gardens, as Under-12 mini teams played on its surrounding training pitches.
Silhillians edged their semi-final against Old Scouts before triumphing over Kettering in a thrilling final to seal their place at Twickenham.
“Teamwork won it for us in the end,” said 11-year-old Tudor Grange Academy student Harrison Burke.
“We’re proud of how we played against lots of difficult sides – it was a group effort.
“I can’t wait to go to Twickenham. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play where England players play.
“I will always remember the feeling of walking out at half-time in the final so I’m pleased we’ve got the opportunity to do that.”
Meanwhile, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Spirit of Rugby Award, which goes to a player who demonstrated the values of rugby, was given to Josh Speechley whose Shelford side played to the best of their ability, showing exemplary fair play throughout.
Shelford were polite and respectful to the referees, shaking each player’s hand and congratulating other teams on their success.
Upon receiving the award, the Sawston Village College pupil said: “It’s important to be nice to referees because without them we couldn’t play.
“We really enjoyed facing some teams we had never played before in this tournament.
“It was tough but we all really enjoyed the challenge. That’s what rugby’s all about.”
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.
Casting an eye over Saturday’s proceedings were Northampton Saints stars Tom Collins and Matt Williams who stressed the importance of playing in competitions like the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup at a young age.
“Getting that experience of competitive rugby and playing against big rivals from the local area is so important,” Collins revealed.
“A long time ago playing at Under-12 level meant everyone just ran where the ball was but tournaments like this give the lads a chance to get the structure of the game right and focus on the little skills like kicking and passing.”
Williams added: “It’s a bit different where I grew up in South Africa – we could only really play for our school teams.
“So I think these tournaments where youngsters have a chance to play in games with big clubs like Saints watching on are fantastic opportunities.”
Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for over 7,000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup each season. Keep up-to-date with the latest Land Rover rugby activity by following @premrugby and @LandRoverRugby