Chichester under-12s and under-11s will be joining a host of Gallagher Premiership stars in June after securing a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Twickenham thanks to their performance at a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup event.
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, a nationwide series of events now running for more than a decade, 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.
It was Bath Rugby’s turn to host their event this season with Trowbridge Rugby Club the venue on Sunday with 32 teams strutting their stuff across an under-12 and under-11 festival.
In the under-12 competition Chichester were rewarded for their effort and skill with a trip to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on June 1, where they will meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador and join in a parade at half-time, plus find out who has won the Junior Land Rover Discovery of the Season award.
Archie Coughtrey, from Chichester U12s, was excited to be there on the day and thanked Bath Rugby for giving him a special day at Rugby HQ to look forward too. “We won all of the games,” he said. “There were a couple that were quite hard, but we got through and into the quarter-finals.
“I think it was teamwork and commitment that got us through. I’m really happy and so proud of everyone that we won and are going to Twickenham.”
Head coach Declan Hutchings said: “It was a fantastic summary of the whole 2018/19 season - we are unbeaten within Sussex/Hampshire and have only lost one match all season.
“As a squad, we are always looking to improve and welcome any new players. My thanks go to the players, coaches and parents who go the extra bit to help the success of the squad.”
Josh Kerr, from Chichester U11s, added; “It’s so good. Last time we did a Land Rover Cup and we won all of our games but didn’t win the draw, so it’s so amazing to get a second chance. We won all our games and none of us scored against us! I really wanted to see the Premiership final. I was going to beg my dad to get tickets, but now we got tickets!”
Players had the opportunity to meet Bath player Will Vaughan, who took time out to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games.
Youngsters and not-so-young guns take centre stage
He commented on the importance of grassroots rugby, saying: “I remember under-13s; I was doing days like this and that’s what made me love the game in the first place.
“It’s the only way you’re going to get professionals out of the sport if you do days like this and it’s enjoyable for all of the kids, because otherwise they’re going to lose interest and not want to play any more.”
* Land Rover has heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite, sharing and understanding the values at the heart of the game. Follow @LandRoverRugby