Youngsters from Peterborough Rugby Club played a part in creating history as they participated in last weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup hosted by Northampton Saints.
Since being launched during the 2008-09 season, the nationwide grassroots rugby event has seen more than 70,000 children take part.
This season sees the tenth anniversary edition of the event – the ‘Testimonial Season’ – with Northampton Saints hosting a festival at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.
Peterborough were one of more than 20 Under-11 teams in attendance, and even got the chance to strut their stuff in front of a host of Saints players, including James Craig and Rory Hutchinson.
And while they missed out on the chance to attend next May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, despite their displaying plenty of skill and effort, ten-year-old Monty James insisted he had loved every minute of the experience.
“I’ve been playing rugby for six years, but I’ve never played in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup before,” said the Werrington Primary School pupil.
“It’s been brilliant because there are so many teams and we haven’t played any of them before.
“It’s interesting seeing what new players are like and figuring out how to play against them.
“Playing next to Franklin’s Gardens feels really good, I can’t believe it – I want to be a professional rugby player when I’m older.”
Teams from across the county will compete at various festivals hosted by the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs this season, with the opportunity to earn a trip to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on May 26, where they will meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.
Peterborough did at least get the chance to rub shoulders with rugby’s elite, and Saints player Craig admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen.
“I actually didn’t play rugby when I was this young – I didn’t start playing until I was 13 so coming down watching the Land Rover Premiership Cup is a new and interesting experience for me,” he said.
“I think it’s important to have these sort of competitions. It’s a great way for the lads to engage with young people and giving them a chance to play on our pitches before watching their idols.
“It’s been great watching some of the action and I’m sure it’ll be a day they’ll remember for a long time.”
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