FRAMPTON Cotterell Under-12s will be joining a host of Gallagher Premiership stars in June after securing a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Twickenham thanks to their performance at a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup event this weekend, writes Connor McLoughlin.

The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, a nationwide series of events now running for more than a decade, has seen more than 82,000 children take part to date and continues to grow, providing developmental experience for young players to excel in a professionally run environment.

This weekend it was Bristol Bears’ turn to host their event this season with Bristol Grammar School Sports Ground the venue on Sunday with nearly 30 teams strutting their stuff across an under-12 and under-11 festival.

And in the under-12 competition Frampton Cotterell were rewarded for their effort and skill with a trip to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on June 1, where they will meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador, and join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time, plus find out who has won the Junior Land Rover Discovery of The Season award.

Leo Constable, from Frampton Cotterell, was excited to be there on the day and thanked Bristol Bears for giving him a special day at Rugby HQ to look forward too.

“We worked hard all day and to be chosen as the winners means it all pays off,” he said. “Rugby is all about the values and respecting your opponents - it makes it a better sport to play.

“Going to Twickenham is just amazing - you get a chance to go with all your friends.

“We always respect our opposition as it goes both ways. We played well as a team today - we moved well with the ball and supported each other.”

Participating players at the festival also had the opportunity to meet Bristol Bears player Sam Jeffries who took time out of his schedule to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games.

And he commented on the importance of grassroots rugby, saying: “When you watch the game being played like this at this level it makes you reminisce about being this age and being involved in festivals like this – it’s the same for guys who grew up playing in Australia or South Africa.

“We all remember these big events and how important they were for us, you don’t realise at the time but it’s a real stepping stone to help you push on.

“Coming down to support the local clubs is always great and there could be some future Bristol Bears players here – as well as them just having fun.

“The skills on show are very impressive and it’s good to see some mixed rugby with girls here, especially with the women’s game growing.

“Tournaments like this help get kids involved in rugby from a young age and if they start this young it means they will hopefully keep playing the sport for the rest of their lives.”

Land Rover has heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite, sharing and understanding the values at the heart of the game. Follow @LandRoverRugby