Updated: Thursday, 23rd November 2017 @ 12:04pm

'A bit nervous': Young Sale Sharks fan picks up tips and inspiration off Premiership Rugby's finest

'A bit nervous': Young Sale Sharks fan picks up tips and inspiration off Premiership Rugby's finest

| By Andrew Lawton

The fairy-tale continued for Waterloo RFC’s Rhys Hulse after he joined Premiership Rugby’s biggest names at a star-studded season launch at Twickenham last week.  

Hulse, 11, who will be starting Formby High in September, rubbed shoulders with the likes of England trio Ben Youngs, James Haskell and Dylan Hartley as the world’s media descended on Twickenham.

The youngster was invited to England HQ by Land Rover to mark its Testimonial Season which celebrates ten-years supporting grassroots rugby in the UK through their sponsorship of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.

Last season Hulse was hand-picked at a Sale Sharks-run tournament in Manchester, where he was selected as the competition’s MVP and was rewarded by appearing at Twickenham back in May for the Premiership Final.

As a promising young rugby player, Hulse enjoyed the chance to spend some time with Sale Sharks' James O’Connor, picking up some vital tips.

“It was great being selected and finding out we could go to Twickenham for the day,” said Hulse, whose role model in the sport is Leigh Halfpenny. 

“I didn’t realise how big the stadium actually was, I was a bit nervous, but it was amazing that I had the chance to go there.

“The whole day just inspired me to be a better rugby player this year and improve my kicking as well.”

The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is a series of national grassroots rugby festivals for U11 and U12 rugby teams.

Run in conjunction with all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs, the regional rugby events are an essential part of the UK rugby calendar. To date, nearly 70,000 youngsters have participated in the tournament since its inception.

Land Rover ambassador and former England rugby captain, Lewis Moody, commented:

“Over the years, I have had the chance to meet many of the youngsters to have taken part in the Land Rover Premiership Cup and have seen first-hand the importance of these grassroots rugby festivals,” said Moody.

“The rugby skills, values, teamwork and sheer enjoyment the young rugby players take away are invaluable to the good health of the sport.”

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. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal