Exeter Chiefs host Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup action

But that wasn’t the only extravaganza launching across Saturday and Sunday, with Exeter Chiefs hosting a festival of rugby for younger players at Crediton Rugby Club.

Under-11 and Under-12 teams from across Devon and the south-west competed in a grassroots development festival, with kids now able to get playing and competing again with Covid restrictions eased.

This successful series of nationwide events, now running for nearly two decades and organised by Land Rover – the Official Vehicle of Premiership Rugby – has seen more than 100,000 children take part to date, with some realising their dreams of going on to play for Premiership Rugby clubs.

A staggering 32 teams from across 19 different rugby clubs took part in the event, with all involved thoroughly enjoying the day.

With sport severely disrupted due to the pandemic over the past 18 months, several of those in action were pleased to be back competing.

Hillingdon Times:

Barnstaple U12’s Max Woosey was one of those who revealed his delight at being able to play once again.

Woosey, 12, said: “I’m so excited and thrilled to be here. We haven’t played rugby much with Covid so just to be here is going to be great fun!

“I’ve been playing rugby for five years now. I just love the spirit and I’ve loved it ever since a young age – it’s just been part of my life.

“Exeter Chiefs are my favourite team – and I 100 per cent want to be a rugby player when I’m older.”

Okehampton U12 player Harry Taylor, 12, added: “I’m very excited to be here, because we haven’t played many matches at all. My favourite thing about rugby is playing with my friends and just enjoying it.

“I’ve been playing for five years. My favourite player is Jonny May and I definitely want to play when I’m older.”

Hillingdon Times:

Exeter Chiefs ace Sam Simmonds, who racked up a record-breaking haul of Gallagher Premiership Rugby tries last season, is also acutely aware of the importance of the festival in promoting the grassroots game.

Simmonds, whose Chiefs team went down 34-19 against Leicester Tigers in their season opener this weekend, said: “It’s great to see that the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is back and that kids are getting the opportunity to play.

“Grassroots rugby is incredibly important, and it is so important to provide more opportunities to play rugby at a younger age.

“Children can learn so much to use on and off the pitch from rugby and it’s important that they get the chance to play, compete against and learn from other teams.

“Clubs always look forward to being a part of this competition – and it’s great that the Exeter Chiefs are hosting the first event this season.”

The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is testament to Land Rover’s commitment to supporting rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite. Follow @LandRoverRugby to discover more. #DiscoverRugby

Hillingdon Times | News