Eddie Brennan and his Huntingdon Stags U12s were left buzzing thanks to Wasps as they secured a spot for themselves as part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham in May after success at this weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
Huntingdon Stags received the incredible prize after taking part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup – a nationwide series for U11 and U12 teams – on Sunday at King Henry VIII School in Coventry, hosted by Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Wasps.
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 each season, with an U11 and U12 team from each Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup getting the chance to go to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham on May 27.
Brennan and Huntingdon Stags U12s will be heading to Rugby HQ, where they will meet an England 2003 Rugby World Cup winner, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.
The tournament was organised by Wasps and saw Huntingdon Stags as one of more than 30 teams that took part in the festival.
“It means so much for us to get the chance to go to Twickenham after winning such a big tournament with so many teams,” said Brennan.
“We are so excited to be able to go onto the big pitch where all of the professionals play.
“We won the county cup last week so we were confident we could win it and it was our teamwork that was the most important for us.
“I think the physicality of the game helps us to bond together as a team because we are playing for each other on the pitch.”
Huntingdon Stags will be joined at Twickenham by Vipers U11s after they also earned the opportunity to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade.
Vipers played group matches against Berkswell & Balsall, Abbey and Kenilworth before they learned of their incredible prize.
“It was a great day all round. It means so much to be picked to go to Twickenham because all of the lads have played so well and we are really proud of each other,” said Vipers player Will Rathbone.
“I am really happy to be going to the Premiership Final and I am so excited to see a match at Twickenham Stadium.
“We all love running with the ball in hand and tackling people – I think the contact side of the game is the best bit.
“And it is great to play in such a good team, it is so difficult to play well if you don’t work as a team.”
Wasps centre Nick De Luca attended to present the prizes and sign autographs and spoke about his memories of grassroots rugby.
He said: “It is a really amazing thing that these kids have the chance to play for the opportunity to attend the final in May.
“I love that this tournament brings together teams from all over the Midlands and beyond – there has been a real buzz about the place today and all the players have been full of enthusiasm.
“I have seen some great rugby with lots of teams being really physical and loving that side of the game as well as being willing to offload which is great to see – the skill level has been really high.”
Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and has been a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade. Land Rover’s ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign continues to champion grassroots rugby through Premiership Rugby and the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal.