Wasps rugby star cheered young players on at club's tournament hosted by Old Leamingtonians

Wasps forward Ashley Johnson was on the sidelines to cheer young players on and offer advice at a tournament hosted by Old Leamingtons RFC recently.

Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 5:30 am

The Wasps Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup involved under-12 and under-11 squads from around the Midlands and beyond testing out their skills against each other.

The under-12s tournament was won by Banbury RUFC, while the under-11s tournament, which was played in a non-competitive manner where scores are not kept, was won by Silhillians RUFC after their name was drawn out of a hat.

Both teams were awarded tickets to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final, which will be held at the home of rugby, Twickenham, on Saturday 20 June.

They will also get to participate in a parade during half-time and meet a top rugby player on their arrival.

Ashley, who has played for Wasps since 2012, congratulated every team who took part on the day.

He said: “It was a pleasure to watch the tournament - the level of rugby was superb throughout.

“I was really pleased to see every side giving it their all despite the early rain threatening to scupper the day.

“Grassroots tournaments like these are the lifeblood of our sport – they give youngsters an early taste of competitive rugby, and allow them to fall in love with the game. There’s a chance I could have seen some future professionals in the making.

“I have to congratulate Banbury RUFC and Silhillians RUFC, and I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic time at Twickenham next June.”

Wasps’ tournament was one of many different events around the country organised by each club playing in the Gallagher Premiership.

The tournaments, which have been held since 2008, are designed to provide young players with a chance to play competitive fixtures in a format that is appropriate for their ages and stage of development.