24 May 13
Conor O'Shea looks back at the ups and downs of the 2012/13 season
The keenly contested series of matches resulted in a tight Under 12 final where Horsham were crowned the winners over an impressive outfit from Heathfield, winning 5-0. In the Under 11 final, Chobham RFC were the victors, defeating Old Reigations RFC 3-0, who made for tough opponents and the respect between the sides at the end was clear for all to see. Participating players at the festival also had the opportunity to meet Harlequins players Joe Marler and Charlie Matthews who took time out of their schedule to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games. As well as winning the festival, the young players have also won places in the prestigious Land Rover Parade of Champions where they will be presented to a sell out crowd at Twickenham during the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final next May.
Harlequins' second row, Charlie Matthews, commented on the importance of grassroots rugby: "Being here today was great. Land Rover are doing a fantastic job in supporting youth rugby and providing the opportunity for these children to play in such a professionally run environment. It was good to see my old club Chichester taking part, it brought back a lot of memories from when I played in that shirt as a youngster. Hopefully there will be a future Harlequins player among the competitors."
Gerald Kelly, from Harlequins' Community department commented: "It was a fantastic event hosted at Pulborough Rugby Club, which saw 32 teams from across Surrey and Sussex compete to become the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Champions. It's great to have the support from Land Rover who show a great commitment to grassroots rugby. I would like to thank Pulborough for all their efforts in making the day a great success and we hope to see all the clubs back at the Twickenham Stoop before the Premiership Final in May. "
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup attracts the finest Under 12 and Under 11 teams from the various regions, and as a result, it has continued to build in prestige from its inception, with participation at an all time high. The benefit and enjoyment that the youngsters are clearly deriving from the festivals gives great satisfaction to Land Rover, who had hoped for exactly this when establishing the first ever festivals to be officiated by their long-standing partners Premiership Rugby.
Commenting on the support of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, Laura Schwab, Marketing Director of Land Rover UK, said: "We are thrilled that the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is proving to be such a success and continues to build in momentum and profile for what is now its fourth year. It is a significant initiative which provides a unique opportunity for young players to channel their enthusiasm for the sport and to play in a national tournament. Land Rover's commitment to rugby now covers all levels of the game, from Rugby World Cup 2011, to supporting the elite of the England Rugby team, as well as the young players of the future, and this is something that we are extremely proud of."
For more information on the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup please visit: www.premiershiprugby.com/landrovercup