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 their special day out at Twickenham Stadium.

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 with former England star Johnson pre-match.

Durham City player Freddie White was additionally awarded the honour of being for 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’s very exciting to be here at Twickenham for the first time, getting to go out on the pitch is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’ve 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 that no other sport could.”

Durham City were one of 24 under-11 and under-12 teams in attendance for 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 Stadium.

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.

“We know about the health benefits but there are lots of life benefits of playing rugby too, it’s the entire thing, you get involved with something that’s bigger than the whole game.

“But, ultimately, I tell kids all the time, why do we play sport? Because we enjoy doing it. We enjoy playing with our team mates, the camaraderie of it, we enjoy the challenge, so anytime you can get people together is good.”

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