Spalding’s starlets had a day to remember as they rubbed shoulders with World Cup winner Jason Robinson and played a starring role in Saturday’s Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham.
Exeter Chiefs were crowned English champions after beating Wasps in a thrilling game which went all the way to extra-time.
Spalding’s under-12s had a front row seat thanks to their involvement with the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup – a nationwide series for under-11 and under-12 teams.
Following their efforts at the Leicester Tigers-hosted event earlier this season, they were invited to take place in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup parade at half-time, as well as getting the chance to meet 2003 World Cup winner Robinson – who also conducted a question and answer session with all 25 junior teams in attendance.
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup has seen nearly 68,000 children take part and continues to provide opportunities for under-11 and under-12 players to play, develop and excel in the game.
And there was an extra special moment for Spalding player Will Stephenson after he was also chosen to receive the club’s most valuable player award which was handed out to an individual from each team.
It’s been a great achievement to reach here and it’s a dream come true to get to go out onto the pitch with my team-mates.Will Stephenson
“I’m very proud of the side for making it to Twickenham as I’ve played in the team for five years now and last year we went out by a point,” said the 12-year-old.
“It’s been a great achievement to reach here and it’s a dream come true to get to go out onto the pitch with my team-mates.
“To look out into the crowd and see how big the pitch actually is was really exciting for us.
“We’ve improved a lot since last year and we’ve actually won all of our games we’ve played.
“As a player I’ve improved most of my skills as well and I’m already excited about playing again next season.”
Land Rover ambassador Robinson was at the final to meet hundreds of youngsters from the national grassroots rugby initiative.
Land Rover is committed to championing grassroots rugby and is continuing its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign through programmes like the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
Robinson was confident that playing such a key role in the final at Twickenham would help inspire the next generation of players.
“The kids had a fantastic day – they were all really excited to get out on the pitch and have some photos,” he said.
“You see the young English guys coming through now who are extremely talented – we’ve got to keep that pathway going and support these kids to achieve their ambitions – that’s what the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup does.
“When you’re a kid you want to look up and see your heroes shining on the big stage and have that desire to go on to do that yourself.
“All these kids have hopes and dreams of doing it themselves and the Aviva Premiership this year has been fantastic and produced thrilling rugby.”
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