He may have missed out on walking out at Twickenham, but Bury St Edmunds RUFC under-11s’ Sol Moody still loved his Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup experience.
On Saturday Saracens hosted the third event of the new season, as the top local under-11s and under-12s mini rugby teams met at Mill Hill Rugby Club with the final for each age group being played next door at Allianz Park during half-time of Sarries’ 41-3 Aviva Premiership victory over Sale Sharks.
In total more than 7,000 children will participate over the course of the campaign as they go in search of a spot in the ‘Parade of Champions’ during half-time of the Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham next May.
And while Moody was not able to lift the Under-11s Cup for a spot at Rugby HQ after his side narrowly lost the final to Westcliff, the 10-year-old claims the event will still live long in the memory.
“It’s been really good to play in a big tournament like this and I have really enjoyed it,” said the Finborough School pupil.
“I’ve been playing for Bury St Edmunds for a year now but I’ve been really into rugby for about two years and my dad is a massive supporter.
“I’m a Saracens fan and I’ve really enjoyed watching the World Cup, but unfortunately England weren’t very good.
“Chris Robshaw is my favourite England player and when I grow up I would love to play for both Saracens and England.”
Bury St Edmunds also fielded an Under-12s side at Mill Hill RFC but they too narrowly missed out on winning the tournament and earning a place at Twickenham.
Saracens were out in force to support the day, with players including Nathan Earle and Richard Barrington presenting the winners Westcliff Under-11s and Worthing under-12s with their trophies at Allianz Park.
And 21-year-old Earle, a former England under-20s star, believes having participated in a tournament such as this can only be a good thing for all the youngsters involved.
“Playing at a tournament like this run by a Premiership club will be really good motivation for them,” explained Earle.
“You don’t think about the bigger picture at that age – it is all about going out and enjoying yourself. “Hopefully that love for the game will carry on into adolescence and maybe some of them can even go professional.”
n Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade. Land Rover’s ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign aims to champion grassroots rugby on the global stage during Rugby World Cup 2015. Follow @Land RoverRugby #WeDealInReal