The Aviva Premiership Rugby final may still be eight months away but youngsters from Warrington RUFC are already counting down the days – thanks to their efforts and skill at last weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.

On Sunday, Warrington Under-11s and Under-12s took to the field for the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, hosted by Sale Sharks at Manchester Rugby Club.

Not only did they get to strut their stuff in front of a host of onlooking Sharks stars Paolo Odogwu and Jake Pope, but the Under-11 players also secured the opportunity to appear at next May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham, where they will take part in a special half-time parade.

More than 40 Under-11 and Under-12 teams took part in this Sunday’s grassroots rugby festival – which is celebrating its tenth anniversary year and has seen more than 70,000 children take part to date – and Warrington team coach Paul Flannery hailed the unique set up at the Land Rover event, claiming it was the perfect platform to celebrate grassroots rugby.  

“The tournament has been absolutely amazing. I’m made up for everyone at the club and the difference an outing to Twickenham will make for the boys will be incredible – we’ve never been as a team before,” said Flannery.

“My fellow coaches and I were saying how professional the whole tournament with Land Rover looks. It really does make a difference to junior players coming through at this level – and this will certainly give us a real boost ahead of the rest of the season.”

Also taking part at the weekend but not quite making it to Twickenham were Firwood Waterloo, Lymm RFC and Manchester Rugby Club.

But Warrington took the main prize and, as well as taking part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade during next May’s final, they can also look forward to meeting a Land Rover rugby ambassador at Twickenham and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.

They got a taste of rubbing shoulders with rugby’s elite when they met Sharks players on Sunday and Odogwu admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.

“It’s been great coming down to watch all the kids – it takes me back to when I first started getting into rugby at my secondary school,” said the winger.

“I thought back to when I used to be the same size as everyone!

“It’s great that such a big company like Land Rover is taking such an interest in the game.  

“The sport is growing at such a rapid pace and the fact that companies such as Land Rover are backing the game at grassroots level shows just how much of an impact that rugby can have in the years to come.”

Land Rover is celebrating its ‘Testimonial Season’; ten years of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. The national series of grassroots rugby festivals is testament to Land Rover’s continued support of grassroots rugby through its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal