Olney RFC helped celebrate more than ten seasons of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup by taking part in an event hosted by Northampton Saints on Saturday.
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, a nationwide series of events, 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.
This weekend it was Northampton Saints’ turn to host their event this season with Franklin Garden’s the venue with 12 teams strutting their stuff at the under-12 festival.
Olney demonstrated plenty of effort and skill but fell just short of earning a trip to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on June 1, where the winners will get the chance to 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.
Despite seeing that honour go to Towcester RFC, player Lewis Harper, from Olney was still proud of his side’s performances.
“It was the first game of our season, so it was good to get a run out and be making preparations for the season ahead,” said the Ousedale School pupil.
“The summer has been a bit non-sporty so it’s good to get back into the routine of playing sport.
“I’ve played in this competition about four times before, I love playing in this tournament. It’s very special, I think it’s brilliant.
“It would have been amazing if we were able to go to Twickenham, I couldn’t even imagine playing in a stadium that big.”
Participating players at the festival also had the opportunity to meet Northampton players Toby Trinder and James Fish who took time out of their schedule to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games.
“When I was younger I played in these kinds of tournaments every summer and they are a great way of getting stuck in,” said Trinder, who recognises the importance of grassroots rugby.
While Fish added: “I never got the opportunity to play in these kinds of tournaments when I was growing up, so it’s great that these tournaments are being run.
“At this age you have got to learn how to tackle properly and where to put your head in tackles.
“It’s great that they can learn about contact rugby at this age.”
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