Olney enjoy special day on Twickenham pitch


After sharing the Twickenham turf with Lions Owen Farrell and George North, Olney head coach David Betteridge admits his U12 side will be forever reliving their Aviva Premiership Final debut.

As Saracens and Northampton Saints battled it out for Aviva Premiership glory in Saturday’s final, Olney under-12s also descended on Rugby HQ.

And during half-time Betteridge’s youngsters got their moment in the spotlight in front of the sell-out 82,000 crowd as they took part in the Land Rover Cup Parade of Champions.

Their time to shine was reward for winning a Land Rover Cup festival held by Northampton Saints back in October.

And Betteridge believes his team loved every minute of their experience of a lifetime.

“We’ve had such a marvellous time and I think we played absolutely brilliantly to get here,” said Betteridge.

“It’s actually our second year here which makes it more special and the boys have been looking forward to this for weeks.

“I think they were all really pumped up to be going out onto the pitch but it’s the whole day that is valuable.

“It all starts at this age and then goes on so we are hoping it drives them forward and gives them confidence in their ability.

“This is a really special event to be 12 years old and be walking around Twickenham is amazing and it will live with them forever.

“It’s so important for junior rugby to be able to part of the senior game and be part of days like this is integral to the future of rugby.”

Not only did Olney under-12s get to walk on the hallowed Twickenham turf but they also got to meet and hear from former World Cup winner and England captain Lewis Moody.

And Moody admits that he was just as impressed with Olney under-12s as he was with the two teams going head to head for the Aviva Premiership crown.

He said: “Kids need to be inspired and if this is one way of inspiring kids into rugby then I think it’s brilliant.

“The chance to stand on the pitch, the hallowed turf, where their heroes have been – that’s a dream for any rugby player or fan.”

Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for 7000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.