YOUNGSTERS from Tadley RFC played a part in creating history as they participated in the 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 tenth anniversary edition – the ‘Testimonial Season’ – with London Irish hosting a festival at Henley RFC on Sunday.

Tadley Under-11s were one of more than 30 Under-11 and Under-12 teams in attendance and got the chance to strut their stuff in front of a host of London Irish players, including academy star Tom Parton.

While they missed out on the chance to attend next May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, despite displaying plenty of skill and effort, 11-year-old George Jackson insisted he had loved every minute of the experience.

He said: “We brought a really strong team to this tournament and I was so excited to play alongside them. We’re really good at running with the ball in hand and passing along the line, so we were confident we could do well. It would have been really cool to get to go to Twickenham, even just to watch the Premiership final.”

“I’ve been to Twickenham before though, I went to watch England versus France a couple of years ago.”

Tadley 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.

He said: “I’ve massively enjoyed watching the rugby.

“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