Eton Manor youngsters enjoy Land Rover Cup experience
PUBLISHED: 14:30 21 September 2016
Under-11s compete in festival at Saracens
Eton Manor under-11s may have missed out on appearing at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham, but Aidan Wellings still insists he experienced a memorable weekend at a festival organised by Saracens.
Wellings and his Eton Manor team-mates had been hoping to head to Twickenham on May 27 to meet an England 2003 Rugby World Cup winner and join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time – but it wasn’t to be, despite a strong performance at the rugby festival.
The Land Rover Premier Rugby Cup, a nationwide series for under-11 and under-12 teams, was organised by Saracens and saw Eton Manor as one of more than 30 teams who took part at Mill Hill Rugby Club.
“I think we played some great rugby and put on a show for everyone there watching. We like to play physical rugby and use our hands to pass it quickly and we did that,” said 10-year-old Wellings.
“It was an amazing experience playing in this competition and I think we will come back next year much stronger.
“In the end we did not get to go to Twickenham, but we learnt a lot and got to see Saracens play, which was great.
“They are a great team and have some amazing players so to watch them live taught us a lot about rugby.”
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup has seen nearly 68,000 children take part to date, from all over the country, providing opportunities for under-11 and under-12 players to play, develop and excel in the game.
Launched during the 2008-09 season, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is the first national grassroots tournament officiated by Premiership Rugby and run in conjunction with all 12 clubs.
The festivals around the country celebrate rugby’s traditional core values of team work, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship, rewarding players conduct, side-line conduct and game play.
And Saracens took a break from Premiership Rugby action on Saturday to support the event at Mill Hill, with academy starlet Nick Isiekwe highlighting the importance of junior rugby in the club’s future success.
“It’s great to have a competitive but fun day, allowing kids to express themselves because as a kid you want to run around and have fun,” the 18-year-old second row said.
“The enthusiasm from the coaches is great, really encouraging them to have fun, which is the main thing: rugby is about having fun, enjoying yourself and being with friends, and this kind of environment is great for that.
“It is good for the young guys to get the chance to play somewhere like this and I am very impressed with how good the skills were. These players are the future.
“You could see on and off the kids they were all having fun. The atmosphere was really positive and it will only help all these guys going forward.”
*Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and has been a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade.
Land Rover’s ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign continues to champion grassroots rugby through Premiership Rugby and the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal.
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