AFTER sharing the Twickenham turf with Lions Owen Farrell and George North, Marlow RFC U11s head coach Gordon Ferguson admits his side will be forever reliving their Aviva Premiership Final debut.
As Saracens and Northampton Saints battled it out for Aviva Premiership glory in Saturday’s final, Marlow U11s also descended on Rugby HQ.
And during half-time Ferguson’s youngsters got their moment in the spotlight in front of the sell-out 82,000 crowd as they took part in the Land Rover Cup Parade of Champions.
Their time to shine was reward for winning a Land Rover Cup festival held by London Wasps back in March, and Ferguson believes his team loved every minute of their experience of a lifetime.
“The atmosphere on the bus down here was joyous and everyone was just looking forward to it,” said Ferguson.
“Hopefully they will remember this well into their adulthood and for some of the players this is just going to be a great experience.
“However, for others this is the inspiration and this is where they will see that they could be a professional rugby player and make a living.
“There are four or five who have that in mind and to walk around Twickenham is amazing.
“I’m not sure they understand how important it is right now but their mums and dads do.
“They’re all confident 11 year old kids but when there’s 80,000 fans it was interesting to see how they reacted but I think the coaches were more nervous because they didn’t want to trip up!”
Not only did Marlow under-11s get to walk on the hallowed Twickenham turf but they also got to meet and hear from former World Cup winner and England captain Lewis Moody.
And Moody admits that he was just as impressed with Marlow under-11s as he was with the two teams going head to head for the Aviva Premiership crown.
“The Land Rover Cup is a fantastic event for inspiring young rugby players,” said Moody.
“Kids need to be inspired and if this is one way of inspiring kids into rugby then I think it’s brilliant.
“The chance to stand on the pitch, the hallowed turf, where their heroes have been – that’s a dream for any rugby player or fan.
“By having these kids come to Twickenham, seeing what it’s about and walking out in front of a bumper crowd, it might inspire them to progress further with their rugby. “You never know we might see a couple of them as future England stars in World Cups to come.”
Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for 7000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.