With normality finally starting to return to the UK; it was rugby’s opportunity to take centre stage this weekend as the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup returned at Exeter Chiefs.
Crediton RFC hosted a thrilling Under-11 and Under-12 grassroots developmental festival on Saturday as youngsters at last got the opportunity to lace up their boots again, with Bude RFC Under-12s among the teams taking part.
This successful series of nationwide events, now running for nearly two decades and organised by Land Rover – the Official Vehicle of Premiership Rugby – has seen more than 100,000 children take part to date, with some realising their dreams of going on to play for Premiership Rugby clubs.
Bude, Penzance Pirates, Newton Abbot, Cullompton, Withycombe, Crediton, Kingsbridge, South Molton, Ivybridge and Topsham battled it out in a hugely competitive and enjoyable festival of Under-12’s rugby.
And for Bude player, Lucas Bisby, who has experienced a frustrating time away from the pitch, it was a memorable experience as his side finally got back to playing.
Bisby, 12, said: “It’s fun to be back playing rugby because we haven’t played in a while, but I was also a bit nervous because it’s the first big tournament.
“We’ve only had one game but that’s it – so it’s been like a year and a half away and I’ve missed playing.
“I’m excited to play with the team – rugby is fun, and it can be competitive at times, but it’s just about having fun with your friends.
“We put in a lot of hard work, everyone really enjoys the game and we just have fun when we’re playing.
“Our biggest strength is that we’re quite good at tackling and defending – and we just want to compete with the best.”
The competition was a fantastic spectacle for those in attendance, with each fixture being played in a fantastic spirit whilst providing a meaningful platform for youngsters to develop their rugby skills.
Land Rover ambassador Lewis Moody, who racked up 71 caps for England, added: “The return of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup across the country is a huge boost for grassroots rugby.
“It is one of the longest standing national series of rugby festivals for Under-11 and Under-12 youngsters and is always a date in season that clubs look forward to being part of.
“It cannot be underestimated how important these grassroots rugby events are for rugby in the UK. Youngsters will learn vital lessons by playing in these festivals, that will serve them on and off the rugby pitch.
“To date, over 100,000 youngsters have taken part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, with several players going on to play for Premiership Rugby clubs. This shows the pathway these youngsters can take on their rugby journey, thanks to Land Rover’s support of grassroots rugby.”
The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is testament to Land Rover’s commitment to supporting rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite. Follow @LandRoverRugby to discover more. #DiscoverRugby