Keys 'loves every minute' of Premiership Rugby experience

PUBLISHED: 13:39 30 September 2014 | UPDATED: 13:39 30 September 2014

Wendens Ambo RFC U12 during the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup at Farnham Royal RFC. Picture: Rob Munro

Wendens Ambo RFC U12 during the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup at Farnham Royal RFC. Picture: Rob Munro

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He may have missed out on the chance of walking out at Twickenham but Wendens Ambo Rugby Club U12 starlet Alexander Keys insisted he had still loved every minute of his Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup experience.

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.

The first event of the season took place on Sunday as Wasps hosted Under-11s and Under-12s mini rugby teams at Farnham Royal Rugby Club.

In total over 7,000 children will participate over the course of the campaign as they go in search of a spot in the ‘Parade of Champions’ during half-time of the Aviva Premiership Grand Final.

And while Keys was not able to lift the Under-12s Cup trophy for a spot at Rugby HQ, with Wendens Ambo falling in the plate semi-final, the 11-year-old scrum-half remained proud of his team.

“We started off with a good match, we won 3-0 and that was encouraging,” said the Saffron Walden County High School pupil.

“We had a rest and then played Marlow and put in one of our best performances even though it was 0-0. Then straight afterwards we just lost 2-1 in our final group game.

“Overall the team played well, our strengths are quick ball out and good tackling. It would have been great to have won the tournament but I’m still proud of the team.

“I really enjoy playing rugby, I like the physical contact and tackling people. My favourite team is Harlequins and Danny Care is my favourite player.”

Also casting an eye over Keys’ team on the day was Wasps duo Sam Jones and Josh Bassett who offered advice to the competitors as well as helping out with the trophy and medal presentation.

And winger Bassett admitted he had already picked out a few stars for the future.

“It’s absolutely amazing seeing the youngsters out there doing their stuff,” he said.

“I didn’t start rugby until I was in the under-15s so to see the exposure that these Under-11s and Under-12s get at events like this is absolutely amazing.

“Playing in this many games in a day and getting that many touches on the ball is what rugby is all about.

“I’ve seen a few players out there with some eye-catching footwork. I’m really impressed by the skills, it’s a really high level.”

Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for over 7,000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup each season. Keep up to date with the latest Land Rover rugby activity by following @LandRoverRugby on Twitter.

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