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Rain fails to dampen spirits at Land Rover Cup

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Young players from Loughborough, Market Harborough and Nottingham Corsairs rugby clubs will take part in a Parade of Champions at Twickenham after coming through the Leicester Tigers leg of the Land Rover Cup.No amount of wind and rain could dampen spirits at the final Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup event of the season on Sunday run by Tigers.   Loughborough under-12s and the under-11s sides from Market Harborough and Nottingham Corsairs booked their place at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final in May.   In total, more than 7,000 young players have taken part this season in search of a spot in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade of Champions during half-time of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final.   There were plenty of potential stars on show again this weekend at Oakham Rugby Club, as 32 teams took part and, despite torrential conditions, supporters were treated to some scintillating rugby.   Loughborough under-12s won every game on the day, overcoming a strong Hinckley side 3-0 in the final to lift the cup and seal their place at Twickenham.   And 12-year-old Ben Jones admitted he was already counting down the days when he said: “We’re going to Twickenham now which feels amazing. I’ve been before but never on the pitch so it will be an incredible experience.”   In the under-11s, there was no separating Market Harborough and Nottingham Corsairs in an enthralling drawn final and both groups will now make the trip to Twickenham. Will Reddings was among the Corsairs players and said: “It feels really good to have taken part, as we know these are some of the best teams around, so it shows we are a good side too.”   The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Spirit of Rugby Award, which goes to a player who best demonstrated the values of rugby, was given to Joe Fox who galvanised his Leicester Forest side and played with grit and determination throughout.   Forest coach Ian Clarke could not have been prouder, saying: “We always try to make sure everyone plays the game in the right spirit at Leicester Forest, from right at the top of the club to the bottom.”   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 Premiership Rugby clubs.   Casting an eye over proceedings on Sunday were Tigers players Seremaia Bai and Jamie Gibson, and Bai believes he saw more than a few players with huge potential.   “Tournaments like this are very important for the kids at this age in terms of their development,” he said. “Coming down and seeing them all playing is something I very much enjoy doing. Seeing a professional player here will hopefully encourage them and I like to be the kind of player kids can look up to.”   Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Cup each season. Keep up-to-date with the latest Land Rover rugby activity by following @premrugby and @LandRoverRugby.   To find out more about next season’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup or under-11s and under-12, email [email protected] tigers.co.uk   In the meantime, young players can join us on a Tigers Rugby Camp to develop their individual and team skills under the watchful eyes of our top coaches. Please visit www.leicestertigers.com/rugbycamps or phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) to find out more.