Market Rasen RFC Under 12s missed out on a big day out at Twickenham, but still had a weekend to remember at a festival organised by English rugby giants Leicester Tigers.
The junior side had been hoping to head to Headquarters 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 festival.
They took part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup at Oakham Rugby Club, in Rutland, last weekend, a national competition for U11 and U12 teams.
The tournament was organised by the Tigers and saw Rasen drawn to play in a pool alongside Beverley, Lichfield and Market Harborough.
The Red and Greens made it through to the next stage where they locked horns with North Walsham, Peterborough and Lutterworth as more than 30 teams took part in the festival.
Rasen player Henry Redmond said: “It’s really fun, but it is also tough as we are playing against teams we have never played before. You have to work really hard to get tries.
“It’s a tiring day, especially when you have back-to-back games, and we’ve been training with our coaches too, to get the most out of the day.”
The 11-year-old, whose favourite player is Tigers and England star Ben Youngs, added: “I’ve been playing since under 6s. I enjoy the team ethos and sticking with the team as we develop, and it’s good fitness, too.”
Leicester Tigers academy star Harry Wells supported the event, highlighting the importance of junior rugby in the club’s future success.
“It’s awesome to see just how many kids have turned up and how many teams are taking part,” he said.
“The numbers that have come out on a Sunday morning to play rugby – it’s really positive and good to see.
“It’s good for them to play a lot of games in one day in this format. It helps them improve not only as players but as a team and they can get used to working together. It’s a fun day to be involved in.”
* 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.