The Rugby World Cup might be taking centre stage this year but the next generation of stars were on show on Sunday as Northampton Saints hosted another action-packed Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
Now in its 12th year, the exciting under-11 and under-12 grassroots developmental festival is a successful series of nationwide events that shows no signs of slowing down.
More than 82,000 children have already taking part to date and the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup continues to grow, providing developmental experience for young players to excel in a professionally run environment.
With a spot at the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on Saturday 20 June up for grabs, more than 200 players descended on Franklin’s Gardens for their under-11 festival, all looking to bag a trip to the world-famous Twickenham Stadium.
And the honour of representing Saints on the hallowed turf this summer falls to St Ives who, along with all teams taking part, displayed fantastic resolve and demonstrated the core values of the game throughout: teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.
Ten-year-old player Harry Oxley is dreaming of Twickenham, keeping his fingers crossed that the weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup hosts can be there on the big day next summer.
“As a Northampton Saints fan, I go to every game and watching them play so being able to go to Franklin’s Gardens was really exciting,” Harry said.
St Ives’ day wasn’t done there either, with the team then heading to Franklin’s Gardens for a lap of honour during Sunday’s Premiership Rugby Cup game against Saracens
Keeping a close eye on the action unfolding throughout the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup was Northampton Saints’ James Mitchell.
And Mitchell was delighted with what he saw, saying: “You’ve all got to start somewhere and for me, at this age it’s all about enjoyment.
“It’s really good for developing your skills, but also for making friends that you wouldn’t normally make and bonding as part of a team.”
Land Rover has heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite, sharing and understanding the values at the heart of the game.
Land Rover has heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite, sharing and understanding the values at the heart of the game. Follow @LandRoverRugby