Welford Road hosted a Celebration Day at the climax of the 25th year of the Prima Tiger Cup on Saturday.
Players, coaches and supporters of the under-10s teams from Beccles, Hinckley, Old Newtonians, Silhillians, Tamworth and Woodbridge rugby clubs followed in the footsteps of rugby legends by running out on the Leicester Tigers turf ahead of kick-off in the senior team’s Gallagher Premiership fixture against Bristol Bears.
As well as playing their own game and watching the professionals in action, the teams returned to the pitch for the presentations Tigers star Manu Tuilagi at half-time in front of a 20,000-strong crowd.
Scott Lydon, a coach at Old Newtonians, said: “The team appreciate that this is a very important opportunity for them – they don’t know whether they’ll get to do something like this again.
“There were a lot of nervous faces before the game but they take away the fact they have played on the same pitch as their idols.
“Today is also a fantastic opportunity for the families. We are a big family and to have so many come down and support us just adds to making this a great day for everyone.”
Supported by Prima Solutions of Loughborough, the Prima Tiger Cup is a free-to-enter contact-based fun event open to all clubs at under-10s level with teams in four festivals where Tigers identify clubs who demonstrate the true ethos of the game under our event criteria in keeping with the RFU Age Grade Rules and guidelines.
This year’s festivals were hosted by Diss, Lutterworth, Tamworth and Mellish rugby clubs with teams who best demonstrate the true ethos of the game then invited to Welford Road.
Eric Barker, Tigers community events manager, has been co-ordinating the Prima Tiger Cup festivals since the first year back in 1994/95 when only eight teams took part. Now more than 70 clubs are involved throughout the festivals.
“Who’d have thought that in those early days we would be here celebrating what is now the largest and most prestigious single-age playing opportunity in the calendar”, Eric said.
“Things have changed as minis rugby has moved forward. Back when we started, it was originally knockout competition involving eight teams. Now the festival annually attracts upwards of 70 clubs recognising the efforts of young players, their coaches and supporters by championing the true values of the game.”
If you would like to register interest in taking part in 2019/20 or have any questions, please email [email protected] or visit https://www.leicestertigers.com/community/prima-tiger-cup for more details.
For more information on Prima Solutions, visit www.primasolutions.co.uk.