Finchley youngsters get the chance to meet Saracens stars
- Credit: onEdition
Youngsters from Finchley Rugby Club will embark on the first step towards a dream Twickenham appearance on Saturday as the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup returns for a tenth year.
The under-11 and under-12 grassroots rugby festival is part of a series of nationwide events which provide aspiring young players the opportunity to play in a competitive event and meet professional players from Saracens.
With 15 under-11 and 16 under-12 teams competing in the shadow of Allianz Park, before the under-12 final takes place on the pitch at half-time of Saracens’ Aviva Premiership Rugby clash with Sale Sharks, Finchley RFC youngsters will get a true taste of the professional game.
And for Saracens and England hooker Jamie George, there is nothing more important than supporting youth rugby.
“I remember as an 11-year-old I went to a Saracens camp and I remember specifically that Paddy John the Irish second-row, he was there and I remember just being in absolute awe of him,” he said.
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“Just seeing him gave me so much motivation so much energy and want to play the game and then I continued to go to camps and met Richard Hill, Thomas Castaignede and the Saracens greats of old –seeing guys like that made me work harder.
“It made me love the game even more if that was even possible, and if we can help inspire some kids of today it’s a huge step in the right direction.
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“Amateur rugby is literally vital in England, my favourite thing to do is to nip down to the local rugby club on a Sunday and just see thousands of kids playing, enjoying the game and it’s so important for us as professionals to filter down the key values of the sport.
“We’re seen as role models in a lot of respects so it’s vital for us to perform and act in the right way and hopefully that can keep encouraging the younger generation.”
In addition to Saturday’s event, one team from each age group will receive 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.
The events are designed to provide young players with a chance to play completive fixtures in a format that is appropriate for their ages and stage of development, all within the spirit of rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.
And in the decade since its inception the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup has seen more than 70,000 children take part, from all over the country.
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.