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Sutton and Epsom Under-11s top Harlequins’ festival

The Aviva Premiership Rugby Final will undoubtedly be a special day for the two professional teams involved. But Sutton and Epsom Under-11s are now also counting down the hours until the day after booking a trip to Twickenham at the Harlequins’ leg of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup on Saturday.

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 with two teams from each club’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup getting the chance to go to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham on 28 May.

Over the weekend, Harlequins hosted their under-11s festival as the top local rugby teams met at Richmond upon Thames College in the shadow of Twickenham Stadium.

Sutton and Epsom Under-11s came through their pool and the semi-final in style before playing superbly against Guildford Under-11s in the showpiece itself.
 
Matthew Roberts was a key part of the successful side and the 11-year-old will remember his team’s performance on the day for a long time.

“It feels really good to win this tournament. We’re only the second Sutton and Epsom team to win it so we’re really proud of ourselves,” said the St Clement’s School pupil.

“I’m friends with everyone on my team. I came to England from South Africa four years ago and I’ve been playing with this team for two years.

“Everyone made me feel so welcome when I first joined and I really enjoy playing with this group of people.

“I enjoyed the day a lot – it’s a great experience to win something like this with your friends.

“We beat Cobham in the semis and they were a fantastic team, and we played even better against Guildford in the final as well. The boys played out of their socks and I can’t believe it.

“I support Saracens and Harlequins, so it’s cool receiving the trophy from the Harlequins’ players.

“I feel really privileged to be able to go to the Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham. It’s going to be awesome.”

Harlequins’ Academy stars Archie White and Sam Aspland Robinson were also at Richmond upon Thames College to support the day – both admitting they were very impressed with the talent on display.

White is a former Sutton and Epsom player himself and believes his old team will relish the experience of walking out at rugby HQ – something he is desperate to do himself.  

“I was never fortunate enough to do anything like go on the Twickenham pitch when I was young – we weren’t always the best of teams,” said the flanker.

“But the kids out there were putting everything they could into it and going out on to the pitch at Twickenham on Aviva Premiership Rugby Final day will be great for my old team. I haven’t even done it yet!

“Getting people more involved in the sport is the main thing and that starts with grassroots rugby.

“I’m sure that’s where most professionals started – it’s a massive experience and it’s growing as well. It’s so good for the future of the sport.”

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. Follow @Land RoverRugby #WeDealInReal
 

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