Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup sends Newton Abbot and Saltash to Twickenham
Exeter Chiefs hosted an exciting under-11 and under-12 grassroots developmental festival this weekend as the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup continued.
This successful series of nationwide events, now running for more than a decade, has seen more than 82,000 children take part to date and continues to grow, providing developmental experience for young players to excel in a professionally run environment.
The under 12 competition was a fantastic spectacle for those in attendance with the highly competitive fixtures providing a meaningful platform for youngsters to develop their rugby skills.
It was a competition to watch with Newton Abbot victorious, showing great spirit right up until the final whistle to earn a trip to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on June 1, where they will meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador, and join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time.
And new for this season, Land Rover will be introducing the Junior Land Rover Discovery of The Season award, which is intended to identify and reward one youngster who has showcased the values of rugby during the tournament.
Jim Kinsella, from Newton Abbot, was excited to be there on the day and thanked Exeter Chiefs for giving him a special day at Rugby HQ to look forward to.
“It feels really good, because we worked so hard for it and the whole team were together – I think we really deserved it, so it feels good.
“It’s been great, because we’ve had a lot of opportunities to play against different teams that we don’t normally play against.
“I love the physical side of rugby, and that there are lots of different positions, so it’s for everyone really!”
In the under 11 festival all teams displayed fantastic resolve and demonstrated the core values of the game throughout: – teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.
And joining Newton Abbot at Twickenham will be Saltash with 10-year-old Aaron Piercy now counting down the days until the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final.
“It feels really good – I support Exeter of course, so I’m hoping that they’ll be there in the final. I can’t wait to tell my friends, they won’t believe it!”
Participating players at the festival also had the opportunity to meet Chiefs player Charlie Wright, who took time out of his schedule to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games.
And he commented on the importance of grassroots rugby, saying: “rugby at this level is about expressing yourself.
“The competition’s important, but at this level you don’t want to focus too much on the competition; you want to start performing well and recognising that performance, rather than getting a result at the end of it.
“Everyone should be enjoying themselves, getting to know other people and be building relationships.”
Land Rover has heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite, sharing and understanding the values at the heart of the game. Follow @LandRoverRugby