After meeting Rugby World Cup winners Martin Johnson and Lewis Moody at Twickenham this weekend, Market Harborough coach Tim Rodgers admits his under-12 side will not forget their Aviva Premiership Rugby Final experience in a hurry.
As Saracens and Exeter Chiefs battled it out for Aviva Premiership Rugby glory in Saturday’s final, Market Harborough under-12s also descended on rugby HQ for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
And Rodgers’ youngsters not only enjoyed a Q&A with Johnson and Moody but the team also had their photo taken pitch side before the game with the World Cup winners.
Their time to shine was reward for their performances at a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup festival held by Northampton back in March, and Rodgers believes his team loved every minute of their experience of a lifetime.
“It was the second time here for us, the team got here last year too, but it’s an excellent achievement and a fitting finale to the season,” he said.
“We play a lot of tournaments, but a trip to HQ is pretty much the perfect way to round it all off, and being here a second time is incredible.
“It’s quite important for the team to learn the aspects of rugby, and part of playing is coming to Twickenham for whichever team you support, particularly for the Premiership final.
“I hope to see a few of our boys here in a few years time, they’re going into development squads at Leicester and Northampton from next year, so there’s a bright future ahead of them all.
“Most of us know Martin (Johnson) as he went to school in Market Harborough, and he’s done a huge amount for rugby in the area, so it’s really great for the lads to be able to talk to him too.”
Johnson, a Land Rover ambassador was speaking at this season’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final where he was meeting hundreds of youngsters from the national grassroots rugby initiative, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
Johnson, who skippered England to World Cup glory in 2003, admits that he was just as impressed with Market Harborough under-12s as he was with the two teams going head to head for the Aviva Premiership Rugby crown.
“The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is a fantastic event for inspiring young rugby players,” said Johnson.
“By having these kids come to Twickenham, seeing what it’s about it might inspire them to progress further with their rugby.
“You never know we might see a couple of them as future England stars in Rugby World Cups to come.”
Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and has been a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade.
Land Rover’s ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign continues to champion grassroots rugby through Premiership Rugby and the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal.