Bognor and Chichester RFC under-11s helped celebrate more than a decade of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup by taking part in an event hosted by Harlequins.
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, a nationwide series of events, has seen more than 82,000 children take part to date and continues to grow, providing developmental experience for young players to excel in a professionally run environment.
It was Harlequins’ turn to host their event this season with Staines Rugby Football Club the venue with 16 teams strutting their stuff across an under-12 and under-11 festival.
In the under-11 competition Bognor demonstrated plenty of effort and skill but fell just short of earning a trip to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on June 1. Bognor player Cassian Clarke was still proud of his side’s performances.
“Playing in the tournament was so much fun,” said the 11-year-old, from Felpham. “It’s been great to get involved and play rugby against so many different teams.
“I play fly-half, and I love this position because you can play it out to the wing and get involved a lot. My favourite player is Mike Brown. He’s quick, strong and good at tackling.”
Participating players at the festival also had the opportunity to meet Harlequins’ Niall Saunders, who took time out of his schedule to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games. And he commented on the importance of grass-roots rugby, saying: “I think events like this are massive for grassroots rugby.
“It’s great for us to show support for the fans around us. We’d love to get as many kids as possible to support Harlequins because it makes our club bigger.
“We talk to them about hard work and dedication and you never know, the small bits of advice we give to these guys could go a long way for them.
“The more tournaments we can get in, the better.”
Chichester under-11s also fell just short of earning a trip to the Premiership final but player Archie Williams, from Chichester, said they had enjoyed the experience.
“It was really exciting to play at the tournament,” said the 11-year-old, from West Wittering. “It’s great to play as part of a team. We all really enjoy it. “My favourite part about rugby is the tackling. I like to play anywhere on the pitch. I just love playing rugby.”
* 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 for more.