LEDBURY under 12s enjoyed a festival of high-quality rugby in the Bromsgrove sunshine as Worcester Warriors held their leg of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
Each of the 12 Aviva Premiership teams are staging a junior tournament for the top teams in the local area with an enticing prize on offer.
Clubs from across the North Midlands went head-to-head with their eyes on silverware and a spot in the ‘Parade of Champions’ during half-time of the Aviva Premiership grand final.
Under the watchful eye of Worcester Warriors duo Josh Drauniniu and Semisi Taulava, Ledbury fell short in their pursuit of victory.
Silhillians beat Wolverhampton in a hard-fought final, with the winners heading to Twickenham in May, but Ledbury head coach Mark Hughes was not too downhearted with the result.
“It’s nice to play a bit of competitive rugby,” he said. “There is a lot of friendly stuff that goes on for the rest of the season, making sure it’s all fair and equitable. This just gives them a chance to show their skills. Festivals are always pretty special.
“The biggest issue for us is we have had more or less no rugby for two months over the winter with the terrible weather, so the kids were all raring to go.
“We had a fabulous tour to London – and went to Twickenham – two weeks ago so the kids are all really enthused about their rugby after that.”
Launched in the 2008-09 season, the cup is the first national grassroots tournament officiated by Premiership Rugby and run in conjunction with all 12 clubs.
Warriors winger Drauniniu was impressed with not only the event’s sharp improvement from last year, but the talent and attitude of all involved.
“When I started playing grassroots, it was at this kind of level and it is always good to watch them do crazy stuff – crazy skills,” he said.
“It’s a great day, we’re coming out here and it’s sunny – we can’t ask for more.
“It is always good to see how it develops and it is a massive improvement from last year.
"This year, it was amazing how many people turned up, it affects the kids’ lifes and how they develop in rugby.”
Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the chance for 7,000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.