Twickenham trip is a day to cherish for Chichester lads

Chichester under-12s enjoy their moment of fame at Twickenham
Chichester under-12s enjoy their moment of fame at Twickenham

AFTER sharing the Twickenham turf with Lions Owen Farrell and George North; Chichester under-12s head coach Kerry Stanton says his players will be forever reliving their Aviva Premiership Final debut.

As Saracens and Northampton Saints battled it out for Aviva Premiership glory in Saturday’s final, Chichester under-12s also descended on rugby HQ.

And during half-time Stanton’s youngsters got their moment in the spotlight in front of the sell-out 82,000 crowd as they took part in the Land Rover Cup Parade of Champions.

Their time to shine was reward for winning a Land Rover Cup festival held by Harlequins in October, and Stanton said his team loved every minute of their experience of a lifetime.

“It was fantastic – the boys have worked really hard this year and won six out of eight tournaments,” said Stanton.

“It’s the experience of a lifetime, having played at Twickenham at a younger age for north midlands I know how great it is for them to experience the atmosphere.

“For them to walk around in front of 80,000 people is just something they will hopefully inspire them to want to achieve.

“I can only say to the guys that it’s something you’ll want to repeat and repeat and repeat because the experience of the atmosphere is something you’ll want to hear all the time.

“It’s the ultimate opportunity and gives them a real insight into what Premiership rugby is all about and the euphoria of going out in front of so many people is amazing.”

Not only did Chichester under-12s get to walk on the hallowed Twickenham turf – they also got to meet and hear from former World Cup winner and England captain Lewis Moody.

Moody said: “The Land Rover Cup is a fantastic event for inspiring young rugby players. Kids need to be inspired and if this is one way of inspiring kids into rugby then I think it’s brilliant.

“The chance to stand on the pitch, the hallowed turf, where their heroes have been – that’s a dream for any rugby player or fan.

“By having these kids come to Twickenham, seeing what it’s about and walking out in front of a bumper crowd, 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 World Cups to come.”

n Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for 7,000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.

LUKE BAKER