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Bradford on Avon and Clifton bag trip to Twickenham

15 April 2016

Less than seven weeks remain until the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, and while the identity of the two finalists is still up in the air, two teams who will be there at Twickenham are Bradford on Avon under-12s and Clifton under-11s.

The two sides secured their spots at England rugby HQ for the title showdown on 28 May after an impressive showing at the latest Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup on Sunday.

Launched during the 2008-09 season, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is the first national grassroots tournament officiated by Premiership Rugby and run in conjunction with all 12 clubs.

Over 7,000 children take part in the competition, with two teams from each Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup getting the chance to go to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final.

This time it was the turn of Bath Rugby to play the role of host with 20 local teams descending on Trowbridge Rugby Club for the under-11 and under-12 competitions.

And it was Bradford on Avon - just a stone's throw from Bath Rugby's Farleigh House headquarters - and Clifton who shone the brightest, comfortably making it through their pool stages before progressing all the way to their respective Cup finals.

Bradford on Avon booked their trip to Twickenham after crossing the whitewash twice in their final – this time against Cleve under-12s. And 12-year-old Ben Walters is already counting down the days until their big moment in London.

“It will be absolutely amazing to go to Twickenham because the feeling of walking out onto the pitch will be incredible,” said the Bradford on Avon player. “I have never been before so it is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. “We are feeling so happy. The final was a really tough game but we played fantastically and I’m really proud of the team.

“We have really enjoyed playing at the tournament because we have been able to play so many games in just one day. We have had a lot of fun and it couldn’t have ended better.”

Clifton, tested in the semi-final by Taunton, had to show plenty of grit and determination to overcome a spirited Dorchester under-11s side in their final game.

But they eventually came through thanks to two tries, with 10-year-old scrum-half Charlie Vaughan among those leading the celebrations.

“It is absolutely brilliant to know we are going to Twickenham, it’s a dream come true,” he said.

“I just really love rugby, I’ve been doing it for the last few years and it’s great to be able to go to Twickenham.

“We played really well in the pool stages and we held our line really well. We kept working hard and the final was really tough.

“But once we got the first try we knew that it was going to be our day.”

Bath Rugby trio David Wilson, Jonathan Evans and Will Homer were all present on Sunday to cast their eyes over the next generation of rugby stars.

England prop Wilson admitted he had been impressed with the talent on show.

“I remember when I was this age, I used to love playing in these tournaments. It was important to enjoy it and everyone I have spoken to is doing that,” he said.

“Rugby at this level is so important. I’ve been impressed with what I have seen out there on the pitches.

“I have very fond memories from when I played rugby as a kid and these guys out there will be making their own memories.

“The chance to go to Twickenham is a very special one and something that lives with you forever, no matter what your age, so it’s very exciting for those players to play for that opportunity.”

Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and has been a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade. Land Rover’s ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign continues to champion grassroots rugby through Premiership Rugby and the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. @LandRover_UK #WeDealInReal

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