By Richard Dore, Sportsbeat

YOUNGSTERS from Painswick RFC played a part in creating history as they participated in this weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, hosted by Gloucester Rugby.

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 of the event – the ‘Testimonial Season’ – with Gloucester hosting the festival at Dean Close school, on Sunday.

Painswick Under-12s were one of more than 30 Under-11 and Under-12 teams in attendance, and even got the chance to strut their stuff in front of Gloucester players Motu Matu’u and Tom Denton, who were casting their eyes over the next generation of stars.

And while they missed out on the chance to attend next May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, despite displaying plenty of skill and effort, 12-year-old Archie Combe insisted he had loved every minute of the experience.

“I’ve not played in a Land Rover tournament before but the other lads have,” said the Pate’s Grammar School pupil. “I’ve played in other tournaments before though.

“The matches are a lot shorter so you have to score tries quickly!

“I’ve been playing since I was five or six so I’m quite experienced.

“My dad and my brother got me into playing rugby and I really like playing as a team with all my friends, it’s fun to go on a run and break through everyone.

“I just really like playing with my friends, that’s the best thing.”

Teams from across the county will compete at various festivals hosted by the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs this season, with the opportunity to earn a trip to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on May 26, where they will meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup parade at half-time and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.

And despite missing out, Painswick RFC did at least get the chance to rub shoulders with rugby’s elite in Motu Matu’u and Tom Denton, with the former admitting he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.

“The benefits of it are that the kids are really enjoying themselves,” said the Gloucester hooker. “At the end of the day rugby’s about enjoyment and the funny thing too is seeing a lot of the parents come along and support their kids.

“I think that speaks louder than words really, the fact that all these parents are out there and supporting them, it’s all about giving back to the young kids.

“Junior footy is the future of rugby here in Gloucester and all across England - Land Rover have put on a really good show for everyone here today.

“If the kids are enjoying it then that’s all that matters really and these kids have done here.”

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