YOUNGSTERS from Windsor RFC played a part in creating history as they participated in this weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, hosted by London Irish.

Since being launched during the 2008-09 season, the nationwide grassroots rugby event has seen more than 70,000 children take part.

This season sees the 10th anniversary edition of the event – the ‘Testimonial Season’ – with London Irish hosting a festival at Henley RFC on Sunday.

Windsor Under 11s were one of more than 30 U11 and U12 teams in attendance, and even got the chance to strut their stuff in front of a host of London Irish players, including academy star Tom Parton.

And while they missed out on the chance to attend next May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, despite their displaying plenty of skill and effort, 10-year-old Charlie Kingsford insisted he had loved every minute of the experience.

“We’ve been looking forward to this tournament a lot,” said the St Edward’s Middle School pupil.

“We did a lot of training last week in preparation, so we felt ready.

“It’s a special tournament, and it’s nice to have proper referees instead of just our dads!

“I thought we defended really well, but we’ve also shown a lot of pace and that we’re difficult to tackle.”

Teams from across the county will compete at various festivals hosted by the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs this season, with the opportunity to earn a trip to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on May 26, where they will take part in a parade at half time and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.

Windsor did at least get the chance to rub shoulders with rugby’s elite, and Parton admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.

“I’ve massively enjoyed watching the rugby,” he said.

“There has been so much talent on show and it’s good to see everyone having so much fun.

“There is such a good atmosphere and it was a great event all round.

“It’s so important to support grassroots rugby, we all started at this level and this is where you learn your trade.

“It’s where you get the experience and then you build up. It’s important to show your talent as well as make new friends, and that’s what rugby is all about.”

Land Rover is celebrating its ‘Testimonial Season’; ten years of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. The national series of grassroots rugby festivals is testament to Land Rover’s continued support of grassroots rugby through its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal

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