He may have missed out on the chance to walk on the hallowed turf at Twickenham but Gosport & Fareham starlet Harry Rabjohn insisted he still loved every minute of his Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup experience.
Rabjohn was in action for Gosport & Fareham’s under-12s at Reading Abbey on Saturday as London Irish hosted their leg of the Land Rover Cup – the first national grassroots tournament run by Premiership Rugby.
In total the 12 legs – one for each top-flight English club – will see over 7,000 youngsters go in search of a spot in the ‘Parade of Champions’ during half-time of the Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham in May.
Gosport & Fareham were unable to lift the under-12s cup trophy and secure a place at Rugby HQ – narrowly losing by one try to eventual winners Reading Abbey in the semi-final.
But captain Rabjohn, 12, remained proud of his team.
‘I was desperate to play because I injured my Achilles recently and so I missed quite a bit of rugby,’ said the Meoncross School pupil.
‘I love tournaments like this because you get to play rugby all day long.
‘We can all get straight on the pitch and into the games. I love it.
‘I especially love the physical side of rugby and, as captain of my team, I know I’ve got to be able to be a leader and bring everyone up a level.
‘If everyone plays their best then it’s not all about winning – it’s about playing as well as you can on the day.’
Casting an eye over proceedings were London Irish Academy players Ross Neal and Cameron Cowell.
And the former insists he saw more than a few players with huge potential.
‘Days like these are massively important for the younger guys,’ said full-back Cowell, a product of the England under-18 team.
‘I used to come down to tournaments like these when I was younger.
‘To play on the professional pitch and to go to the finals I remember was a great day out and I loved it.
‘In terms of learning these tournaments are big as well. It was a good feeling to be able to play and it helped me in my development.’
n 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 all the latest Land Rover rugby activity by following @LandRoverRugby on Twitter.