Letchworth Rugby Club youngsters make it day to remember after Saracens visit

PUBLISHED: 15:55 26 September 2017

Letchworth Lions

Letchworth Lions

© Sportsbeat/Roberto Payne

Youngsters from Letchworth Lions and Cheetahs played a part in creating history as they reached the semi-final of this weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, hosted by Saracens.

This season sees the tenth anniversary edition of the event – the ‘Testimonial Season’ – with Saracens hosting the first festival in the shadow of Allianz Park on Saturday.

Letchworth Cheetahs Under-12s and Letchworth Lions Under-12s, part of Letchworth Rugby Club, were two of more than 30 Under-11 and Under-12 teams in attendance, and even got the chance to strut their stuff in front of Saracens players Nick Tompkins and Titi Lamositele, who were casting their eyes over the next generation of stars.

And while they missed out on the chance to attend next May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, despite their displaying plenty of skill and effort, 11-year-old Joseph Hendler insisted he had loved every minute of the experience.

“The semi-final was good, but we didn’t play to our potential and there was a lucky interception at the end so we lost,” said the Kingshott School pupil.

“It was a bad loss for us, because we don’t lose that much, but our coach came over at the end and complimented us.

“He said they hadn’t lost in five years, so we gave them the best competition they’ve ever had.

“They spread out more than us and we stayed in the middle while they passed it out wide, so we’ll learn to spread out.”

Letchworth Cheetahs did at least get the chance to rub shoulders with rugby’s elite in Tompkins and Lamositele, and the former admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.

“It’s amazing for these kids, because they get to play teams that they wouldn’t normally play,” he said.

“They get to come from all over the region and have a good time and play a good level of rugby.

“I was just watching and some of the players are really good, it’s awesome - it’s such a good tournament.

“I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen, some of the teams are fantastic and really promising, but it just looks like everyone’s having fun which is the most important thing.

“It brings back happy memories, you don’t forget these kind of times, no matter how long you play rugby for, because you make friends for life.

“It’s been ten years and it’s got to continue because the stronger we can make grassroots rugby, the better we’ll be in the future.”

Land Rover is celebrating its ‘Testimonial Season’ after 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.

For more follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal.

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