Stockport Rugby Club U12s will be part of May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham after his side booked their spot at a festival organised by Sale Sharks last weekend.
Stockport received the opportunity after taking part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup – a nationwide series for U11 and U12 teams – at the weekend at Manchester Rugby Club.
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.
Over 7,000 children take part in the competition each season, with two teams from each Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup getting the chance to go to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham on 27 May.
Stockport Rugby Club U12s will be heading to Twickenham, where they will meet an England 2003 Rugby World Cup winner, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.
Stockport played with maturity beyond their years and made it through their group with a combination of brave tackling, crisp passes and slick off-loads before just edging a tough match with hosts Manchester in the final.
The tournament was organised by Sale Sharks and saw Stockport play in a pool alongside Firwood Waterloo, Trafford, West Park and Sandbach, before battling past the hosts in the final – in total 44 teams took part in the festival.
“We’re so pleased to be able to go to Twickenham,” said Stockport U12s’ Dan Robinson. “We went last season after winning the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup and defending our title is really special.
“Last year was fantastic, a brilliant day out and we can’t wait to be able to go again. The team worked really well together for us to be able to get the win.
“Manchester are a tough team, and had the advantage of being hosts as well, they’re our local rivals and we knew quite a lot of them which made the game difficult, but we got there in the end.”
Joining Stockport at Twickenham will be Firwood Waterloo Rugby Club U11s after they also earned the opportunity to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade.
Firwood were paired in a pool with Broughton Park, Lymm, Trafford MV, Wilmslow and Winnington Park, with ten-year-old Josh James delighted with his team’s achievements.
“You can’t win games by yourself so it was really important that we all worked together,” he said. “Our kicking game was particularly good and everything came off in time for the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
“I’ve never been to Twickenham before so I can’t wait to go for the Premiership final, it will hopefully be a really fun day.”
Sale Sharks stars including Brian Mujati and James Flynn were also at Manchester Rugby Club to support and sign autographs, with Flynn – a graduate of the club – impressed with a level of talent which could see those competing stepping up to the next level.
“The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup has a good setup every year and a fantastic way for all the kids in the North West to show what they can do. The quality on show has been fantastic,” said Flynn.
“It’s a great arena for them, rugby at a grassroots level is important, taking part and getting that competition in early is a fantastic experience.
“I had some fantastic memories at Manchester until I was about 16, it’s a place with some really good facilities and for them to have the experience of something like that at this age is vitally important, and for 44 teams to have been there show just how popular the game is.”
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.