Old Northamptonians are just three games away from etching the class of 2023 into the annals of club history with a win at Twickenham in their ‘Champions League.’

All roads lead to The Home of Rugby this weekend for Regional 2 Championship teams in the Papa Johns Community Cup, with a mouth-watering final round of pool action in store. In Pool 3, any of the four teams can mathematically qualify for the semi final next weekend, although two teams remain in pole position.

Old Northamptonians entertain Leek in Pool 3, with the winners likely to progress to the last four of the competition where they will be just one game away from an epic Twickenham final.

Leek lead their hosts on points difference ahead of their Saturday showdown but Old Northamptonians Director of Rugby Richard Blank believes home advantage could make all the difference.

“I’m pumped for it,” said Blank, 39, who played over 250 games for the 1st XV.

“We get reasonable crowds throughout the season, about 150 or so for a league game, and I would expect quadruple that on Saturday.

“Leek are bringing at least 50 and with the Saints not at home this weekend we are hoping to pick up the potential season ticket holders and rugby lovers.

“We’ve got a BBQ on to feed the masses and are just hoping it stays dry!”

Old Northamptonians kicked off their cup campaign with a 32-21 win against Pontefract before a 17-10 defeat at Walsall.

Leek, meanwhile, ran out winners against Walsall before a narrow defeat to Pontefract, leaving all four sides with an identical record ahead of the final round.

Blank praised the standard on show across his side’s two matches, leaving the squad to liken the tournament to the European football phenomenon.

“The lads have looked at it like a Champions League,” he said.

“They are playing the best of the best at level 6 from different leagues.

“The pool stage has worked well, I think it’s been brilliant, the concept is magnificent and we’ve got guys who are 20 who are equally as excited about it as I am.”

Waiting in the wings should neither side secure a bonus-point victory in Northampton are Pontefract, who are looking to complete a league and cup double after clinching Regional North East 2 last month.

Club chair Phil Atkinson is aware that his side are outsiders to progress to the semi-finals but there’s still a chance of qualification and he says they will do everything in their power to uphold their end of the bargain.  

“We’re an outside bet for it now with the winners of the other game looking more likely to go through but it’s still possible,” said Atkinson.

“The lads are really worked up for it, they really want to go to Twickenham. If we don’t go through, it won't be because we haven’t given it our all.

“There’s nothing like a road trip, a collective group of friends going to a place we’ve never been before on an exciting journey so whatever happens, it will be a great occasion.”