Young team rewarded for their skills and dedication
OLD LAURENTIAN RFC will be joining a host of Gallagher Premiership stars next June after securing a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Twickenham after their brilliant performance at a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup event this weekend.
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, now in its 11th year, has hosted more than 82,000 participating children across the country and only continues to rise in popularity.
The tournament provides valuable experience for young players to show off their skills in a professionally-run environment.
This weekend it was Wasps’ turn to host their event this season at Old Leamingtonians RFC this Sunday, with 32 of teams strutting their stuff across an under-12 and under-11 festival.
And in the under-11 competition Old Laurentian were rewarded for their skills and determination with 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, plus find out who has won the Junior Land Rover Discovery of the Season award.
Old Laurentian player Anderson Clark, who goes to Abbot’s Farm Junior School and is from Rugby, was over-the-moon to be there on the day and thanked Wasps for giving him a special day at the Home of Rugby to look forward to.
“We’re so excited to be going to Twickenham! We did well, and I think the reason we won is because we didn’t have a best player. All of us were the best player, all of us played together as a team.”
The 10-year-old, who names passing and rucking as his best skills, continued: “I like the atmosphere at Twickenham, so I’m looking forward to going back with the whole team. I think a lot of parents will be able to come down and see us too.”
His team-mate Cara Ridd added: “It’s a good competition. Playing with boys and girls together has been a challenge but it’s been fun.”
Players taking part at the festival also had the chance to meet Wasps player Matt Mullan, who took time out of his busy schedule to watch the budding teams in addition to offering some coaching tips between matches.
And he was keen to stress the importance of grassroots rugby, commenting: “I missed all this stage in terms of the mini and junior section of a rugby club. I went to a school aged 10 or 11 and they didn’t play football. I had to play rugby to make some friends.
“It’s fantastic to turn up and see so many children across two different age groups turning up. You can hear the noise and the buzz around the place. I think it’s great to encourage children to get out there and stay active.
“For any aspiring rugby player, whether you are 12 or 25, to get out onto the pitch at Twickenham is a fantastic achievement.”
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
Old Laurentians' report: U11s: Land Rover Premiership Cup: What a day for a group of players that just give their all and display all the true elements of team sport.
Old Laurentians came up against some big, physical teams in the Land Rover Cup but never stopped trying to play open, attractive rugby. The first two games ended in narrow defeats, one against a very strong Moseley team and our group of heroes could easily have let their heads drop but no, they decided to tough it out and carry on fighting!
The remaining four games against Berkswell (2-2), Aston Old Eds (6-0), Old Leamingtonians (1-0) and Shipston (4-0) left OLs undefeated for the rest of the day. Putting aside scores, the whole group showed 100% team ethic to each other (even having a full on squad pitch walk when Cara lost her gumshield), commitment when things were tough (Fraser’s tackle on a Moseley player who was adult sized standing out) and great team passing play (Tom L gifting Seb a try when on the try line was a great example).
To cap the day off, out of the 16 teams entered, OLs won the prize of the team trip to the Premiership Final at Twickenham at the end of the season. The cheers erupted when this was announced! A great reward for the group.