KENILWORTH U11s coach Joe Barry wants his young aces to make the most of their Twickenham experience this weekend, insisting they fully deserve their time on the big stage.
As Saracens and Northampton Saints do battle to determine who walks away with this year’s top prize in the Aviva Premiership Grand Final on Saturday, the hallowed Twickenham turf will be graced by Kenilworth’s young guns at half time.
And, much like Sarries and Saints, Kenilworth faced an arduous journey to make it to rugby HQ as they came out on top of their regional Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup festival last month.
Kenilworth finished top of the pile as the great and the good of local grassroots rugby came together and their prize is a spot in the ‘Parade of Champions’ during half time of the Aviva Premiership Grand Final.
After toppling all those before them to make it to Twickenham, Barry is urging his players to soak up the experience as they share the spotlight with their idols.
“It was absolutely amazing to go there and play in the Land Rover Cup.” he said. “I just thought the whole day was a great experience for the kids and they had an incredible time.
“It was a really well organised event and I think the kids responded to the professionalism they saw. They were all so pleased they managed to win and I think it was so valuable they got to play against lots of different teams.
“For every rugby player, it doesn’t matter how old they are, walking out at Twickenham is a special and rare opportunity and the guys are really looking forward to it.”
Launched in 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.
While some or all of Kenilworth U11s’ Twickenham experience will start and end on Saturday, World Cup winner Lewis Moody is adamant the occasion will continue to have a positive effect on their lives.
“The teams taking part in the Parade of Champions worked hard to win their respective cup competitions and they fully deserve this fantastic reward.” said Moody.
“The kids will get to see and experience Twickenham and be on centre stage, get to walk on to the pitch and they will be walking on the same grass their international heroes will be walking on in a year’s time at the World Cup.”
Lewis Moody is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for 7,000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.