THE Gallagher Premiership Rugby season may be over for another year, but memories of the 2019 final will live long in the memory for youngsters from Durham City RFC after they enjoyed a special day out at Twickenham.

Thanks to their involvement with the latest season of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, Durham City Under-12s headed to rugby HQ, where they shared the turf with World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson.

That came after they secured their spot at the showpiece event at the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup festival hosted by Newcastle Falcons.

Their reward for their efforts also included the chance to watch Exeter Chiefs and Saracens battle it out for the title as well as meeting former England star Johnson pre-match.

Durham City player Freddie White was also awarded the Junior Land Rover Discovery of the Season award, with the youngster admitting the whole day had been one to savour.

Freddie said: “It was a complete surprise to me to have been nominated. It was amazing!

“It was very exciting to be at Twickenham for the first time, getting to go out on the pitch was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I really enjoyed myself.

“Friends told me to get into the sport and I followed their advice. I really enjoy playing as a team and getting stuck in. Rugby gives me a lot of things no other sport could.”

Durham City were one of 24 under-11 and under-12 teams in attendance at the final – representing two sides for each age category from the festivals hosted by each of the 12 Gallagher Premiership rugby clubs throughout the season.

This is the 11th year of the national grassroots rugby initiative, with more than 85,000 youngsters participating in the event to date – enough to fill Twickenham.

Players such as Newcastle Falcons’ Callum Chick started life on the pitches of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, with Land Rover ambassador Johnson praising the opportunities afforded to players at a young age.

“It’s all about giving people the opportunity to play,” said Johnson. “It’s great to see kids just playing and enjoying themselves. Being here at Twickenham, they will all have a dream that one day they’ll play here for their club or their country.

“I see lots of guys who didn’t get into rugby until their 20s and 30s and they wish they’d gotten into it when they were younger.”

* Land Rover has heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite, sharing and understanding the values at the heart of the game. Follow @LandRoverRugby