Youngsters from Barnet Elizabethans played a part in creating history as they participated in this weekend’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, hosted by Saracens.

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 Saracens hosting the first festival in the shadow of Allianz Park on Saturday.

Barnet Elizabethans Under-11s and Under-12s were two of more than 30 teams in attendance, and even got the chance to strut their stuff in front of Saracens players Nick Tompkins and Titi Lamositele, 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, Under-12 Josh Heeson insisted he had loved every minute of the experience.

“We played well, we weren’t ready in our first few matches because they were our first of the season," said the 11-year-old Chancellor’s School student.

“But then we got into it and started playing very well.

“It’s really good for our development, it’s good for helping us get used to the new rules in our new age group at the beginning of the season.

“We’ve done pretty well, we had quite a few training sessions over the summer.”

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.

Worthing Mini Raiders did at least get the chance to rub shoulders with rugby’s elite in Tompkins and Lamositele, and the former admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.

“It’s amazing for these kids, because they get to play teams that they wouldn’t normally play,” he said.

“They get to come from all over the region and have a good time and play a good level of rugby.

“I was just watching and some of the players are really good, it’s awesome - it’s such a good tournament.

“I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen, some of the teams are fantastic and really promising, but it just looks like everyone’s having fun which is the most important thing.

“It brings back happy memories, you don’t forget these kind of times, no matter how long you play rugby for, because you make friends for life.

“It’s been ten years and it’s got to continue because the stronger we can make grassroots rugby, the better we’ll be in the future.”

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