‘With a little help from my friends’: Manchester U11s talent upbeat despite missing out on Twickenham trip

Manchester U11s star Ishy Faisal may have missed out on appearing at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham but still he insists he experienced a memorable weekend at a festival organised by Worcester Warriors.

Faisal and Manchester U11s had been hoping to head to Twickenham on May 27 to meet an England 2003 Rugby World Cup winner and join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time – but it wasn’t to be despite a strong performance at the rugby festival.

Faisal and his team received the opportunity after taking part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup – a nationwide series for U11 and U12 teams – on Saturday at Sixways Stadium in Worcester.

Manchester showed maturity beyond their years as they played with a combination of brave tackling, crisp passes and slick off-loads in a tournament organised by Worcester Warriors that saw 30 teams take part including Wolverhampton, Stourbridge, Worcester and Stamford.

Faisal said: “I really love rugby, so I like taking part in event like this where you get to play a lot of games in a short space of time.

“I like travelling to different places and we’ve had to travel further than most of the other teams to get here. We also played in Sale Sharks’ version of this, so we knew what to expect.

“I got into rugby thanks to my friends – they were really into it and they said that I should come. That was about five or six years ago and I’ve really enjoyed it ever since.”

The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup has seen nearly 68,000 children take part to date, from all over the country, providing opportunities for U11 and U12 players to play, develop and excel in the game.

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 festivals around the country celebrate rugby’s traditional core values of team work, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship, rewarding players conduct, side-line conduct and game play.

Worcester Warriors back rower Matt Cox turned up to support the event at Sixways and, after signing autographs and having his photo taken with the young players, he praised what the festival does for grassroots rugby and how it inspires children to stay involved in the sport.

Cox said: “It’s great to see so many young kids get the chance to play right next to Sixways and there’s such a good prize at the end of it. Going to Twickenham is what every player dreams of when growing up.

“Worcester has a good record when it comes to bringing young players through its academy and hopefully playing in this will inspire some of them to follow in our footsteps.

“The standard of play has been good and I’ve been surprised with just how intense it’s been, considering these kids are only 11 or 12 years old.”

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.

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