Youngsters from Olney RFC are counting down the days to this month’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final thanks to their efforts and skill at last weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
On Sunday, Olney Under-12s took to the field for the final Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup of its testimonial season, hosted by Bath Rugby at Trowbridge RFC.
Not only did they get to strut their stuff in front of Bath Rugby’s Levi Douglas, Jack Wilson and Max Wright, but the youngsters also secured the opportunity to appear at the upcoming Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham, where they will take part in a special half-time parade.
More than 30 Under-11 and Under-12 teams took part in this weekend’s grassroots rugby festival – which is celebrating its tenth anniversary year and has seen more than 80,000 children take part to date – with Olney loving every second.
“I started when I was really young, I was just trying out loads of sports and I decided to stick with rugby,” said Wellingborough School student Thomas Ross.
“I liked the adrenaline and the physical side of it which is more me than the others.
“Rugby is really good. You make loads of friends. I have made friends with practically everyone here.
“On the pitch, a lot of things go through your mind. You have to trust them. You do what you have to do and you trust everyone else.
“To get to Twickenham means a lot to me and all our players. It’s what you can achieve and that’s big.
“It would be really scary but it’s just the size of it. It’s known as the home of rugby so it will be really special.”
As well as taking part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade during May’s final, Olney RFC can also look forward to meeting a Land Rover rugby ambassador at Twickenham and hearing which of them has won a club MVP award.
They got a taste of rubbing shoulders with rugby’s elite when they met Bath’s Wilson and Wright on Sunday and the former admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.
“These events are really good. This is a little bit different - I’m from New Zealand, where we didn’t really have these big days with quarter finals and semi-finals, I think it’s excellent,” said Wilson.
“With all these kids here, they all look like they’re loving it so I think it’s an awesome event.
“You never think when you’re younger you’re going to be playing professional rugby. You aspire to it, but when it actually happens it’s pretty cool so hopefully us coming down here is pretty cool for the kids. It’s a great setup.
Land Rover is celebrating its ‘Testimonial Season’; ten years of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. The national series of grassroots rugby festivals is testament to Land Rover’s continued support of grassroots rugby through its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal