Christian Wade & Tom Varndell at the Festival
Wasps hosted an exciting and competitive Under 11s and Under 12s grassroots tournament this weekend, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, featuring grassroots clubs from across the region. The successful series of nationwide tournaments continues to grow and allow young rugby players to showcase their skills and capabilities in a professionally run environment.
The Under 12s Festival Final was a fantastic spectacle for those in attendance, with the impressive Beccehamian RFC keeping their composure to be selected to represent Wasps at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final in May to secure a fine victory over Oxford RFC, who showed great integrity during the tournament narrowly missing out in defeat and made sure that they challenged Beccehamian RFC right until the final whistle. In the Under 11s Festival Final, Marlow RUFC were triumphant, to be the representative at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final playing with great confidence to defeat Oxford RFC, who displayed great resolve to ensure that Marlow RUFC had to be at their very best throughout the match so that they could be crowned Regional Representatives Champions.
The Marlow RUFC Under 11s Team Manger Mel Hoare told wasps.co.uk, "A great day out of high quality, competitive – but immensely enjoyable rugby. The participating teams had a combined similarity of coaching styles – good clean but hard rugby. The boys had a great day – every match was a hard fought contest – but at the end of each match every hand was shaken – by coaches and players – and even the parents joined in. Great to not have to bring a referee – those were provided by Wasps – which made the day run even more smoothly. Highlight of the day from the boys – obviously meeting Tom Varndell and Christian Wade as they received their winning cup. We are all looking forward to representing Wasps at the Premiership Final in May."
U11s Champions Marlow RUFC
As well as winning the tournament, the young players have also won places in the prestigious Land Rover Parade of Champions where they will be presented to a sell-out crowd at Twickenham Stadium during the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final in May.
In addition, the Land Rover Spirit of Rugby Award, which goes to a team who demonstrated the values of rugby, was given to Wendens Ambo Minis RFC U12s. Each referee was asked to nominate a team or player that they thought really captured the spirit of rugby. Wendens Ambo were nominated because they showed really good team spirit and sportsmanship throughout the group stages of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. The award was presented to the team captain Jarno Longaretti; a player that really stood out in the game for his leadership qualities and bringing the squad together.
The Wendens Ambo U12 players, coaches and parents were all extremely proud to win the Spirit of Rugby award. "Our club ethos is built around enjoying rugby and encouraging young players to develop their game in line with the core values of rugby, and winning this award reinforces that we are taking the right approach. The award topped a great morning’s rugby at a well organised event including some strong refereeing and an excellent all round atmosphere that epitomises what rugby is all about. Wendens Ambo would like to wish the winners of the tournament all the best in representing Wasps at Twickenham." James Luxford, Wendens Ambo Minis RFC U12s
U12s Champions Beccehamian RFC
Participating players at the festival also had the opportunity to meet Wasps players Tom Varndell and Christian Wade who took time out of their rehabilitation schedules to watch the young teams as well as offer some coaching tips between games. Tom Varndell commented on the importance of grassroots rugby: "It was a pleasure to be able to attend such a well supported festival with hundreds of players enjoying their rugby. Christian (Wade) and I were really impressed with the standard of rugby at both U11s and U12s levels and especially the number of clubs represented on the day. This festival has become a flagship event for our Community Team and I was delighted to be able to represent Wasps on the day. Land Rover have created a great opportunity for these teams to participate in a regional festival with the kudos of winning through to representing their premiership club at the Aviva Premiership Final."
Wasps would like to thank Land Rover, Premiership Rugby, Fastrack Agency, Farnham Royal RUFC, Tom Varndell & Christian Wade and all the participating players and their families. Special thanks to event organizer Ian Isham and the Community Event Staff.
For more information on the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup please visit: www.premiershiprugby.com/landrovercup
"I just wanted to send you and Wasps a brief thank you from High Wycombe RUFC U11s for inviting us on Saturday. It was a great day, well organised, and our kids and parents thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Definitely one of the best organised and a great standard to test our teams against equal opposition, we need positive sponsors like Land Rover - particularly at grassroots level - can't do it without them."
"Thanks for a great tournament on Saturday. Well done to you and your team." - Dave Roberts, Beaconsfield RFC U12s
"Many thanks for Saturdays Festival. We have been to a few over the years run by Premiership clubs, I can honestly say yours has been the best so far. Great to see teams that we don't normally play. Great that you ran a Cup, Plate etc, it makes it more competitive for those teams that don't win their pool. With all the bad weather this year its given us a good idea on how are squad are playing against good opposition. Look forward to seeing you next season." - Dave Paradise, Redingensians RFC U11
"Thanks so much for yesterday, great tournament, really well organised. Send our thanks to Victor who reffed our U11s games on pitch 1." - Stu Wells, Oxford Harlequins RFC U11s
"Lee Heron and I would like to say a massive thank you to you and your team. Yesterday’s tournament was a fantastic day and saw our boys play some really hard games against very competitive teams that we wouldn’t normally see." - Marc Kavanagh, Bicester RUFC U11s