He may not have been able to help his team to victory in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, but captain Josh Speechley did not leave empty-handed after his side were selected for the Spirit of Rugby Award.
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.
And it was the turn of Northampton Saints on Saturday to host their Under-12 rugby tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, with Speechley representing Shelford Rugby Club.
In total, over 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 2015.
Speechley played a galvanising role as Shelford gave everything they had on the pitch, narrowly missing out on a semi-final spot.
And it was a performance that did not go unnoticed by the community managers and referees who singled him and his teammates out for the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Spirit of Rugby Award.
“Everyone had their heads up and gave everything in our games so I think my team deserved an award,” said the 11-year-old Sawston Village College pupil.
“I’m proud of how everyone played today. We might not have won but we all had a great time.
“We all get on really well, it was a team effort.”
The award recognises a team player who has epitomised the true spirit of rugby, played with true grit and determination showing exemplary fair play throughout.
Throughout the tournament Shelford were polite and respectful to the referees. They shook hands with everyone and congratulated other teams on their successes.
Speechley added: “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.”
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 @LandRoverRugby on Twitter.