Sidmouth RFC youngsters enjoy Land Rover Cup experience at Exeter Chiefs
- Credit: Archant
Youngsters from Sidmouth RFC played a part in creating history as they participated in this weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, hosted by Exeter Chiefs.
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 Exeter Chiefs hosting a festival at Exeter Saracens RFC on Sunday.
Sidmouth Under-11s and Under-12s were two of more than 30 Under-11 and Under-12 teams in attendance, and even got the chance to strut their stuff in front of a host of Exeter players, including academy star Charlie Wright, who played in the tournament with Sidmouth RFC as a junior.
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 Scotty Monio Higgs insisted he had loved every minute of the experience.
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“I like coming to tournaments because you get to play a whole day of rugby,” said the St Peter’s School pupil. “I love rugby because it gets me outside to play.
“This tournament is fun and quite tough, there were some new teams here for us.
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“When you play new teams you learn things that you haven’t learnt before.
“This tournament gives you the chance to go on the pitch at the Premiership final, that would have been amazing because I’ve never been to Twickenham.”
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.
Sidmouth did at least get the chance to rub shoulders with rugby’s elite, and Wright admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.
“I played in the tournament for Sidmouth and I remember playing the final against Topsham,” he said.
“It’s a really good experience for all the young players, they look a lot smaller than what I remember playing against.
“This is the tenth year and it’s really important to start at a young age, it’s just fun for the boys and girls.
“You have to have enjoyment and not get too serious, it’s really important for them to get involved now and progress through the age groups.”
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