HE may have missed out on the chance of walking out at Twickenham, but Haywards Heath Rugby Club Under-11s starlet Samuel Grant insisted he had still loved every minute of his Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup experience.
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 first event of the season took place on Sunday as Wasps hosted Under-11s and Under-12s mini rugby teams at Farnham Royal Rugby Club.
In total over 7,000 children will participate over the course of the campaign as they go in search of a spot in the ‘Parade of Champions’ during half-time of the Aviva Premiership Grand Final.
And while Grant was not able to lift the Under-11s Cup trophy for a spot at Rugby HQ, with Haywards Heath losing out to Oxford Harlequins in the final of the bowl competition, the 10-year-old skipper remained proud of his team.
“It’s a bit disappointing to come second in the bowl, because obviously we thought we could have done better” said the Hangleton Junior School student.
“But it’s been a good day overall and we had fun. We’re better as a team now and we’re happy we came to the Premiership Rugby Cup.
“It’s really quite fun playing with all these other teams as it’s a good competition and you’re fighting to win.
“Tournaments like these always improve you because you can only really improve playing rugby by playing matches.”
The Under-11s were not the only Haywards Health side gunning for Twickenham on the day, as the Under-12s were knocked out to eventual Cup winners Blackheath in the semi-finals.
Despite coming within touching distance of making it to Rugby HQ, fly-half Freddie Longley was focusing on the positives.
“It was a great day, a really enjoyable tournament,” said the 11-year-old. “It was quite physical, and we needed to pass it out a bit more after the first game and play a bit more as a team.
“It would have meant everything to go on and win the tournament but I’m still proud of the team. We battled really hard and did some good stuff at times.
Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for over 7,000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup each season. Keep up to date with the latest Land Rover rugby activity by following @LandRoverRugby on Twitter.