Big day looms for Wymondham rugby lads
RUGBY: The excitement is building for Wymondham U10s ahead of their Prima Tiger Cup semi-final at the home of Leicester Tigers on Sunday.
Wymondham take on Oakham from Rutland in the last four at Welford Road before English champions Tigers face Italian side Benetton Treviso in a must-win Heineken Cup clash.
The other semi-final will be between Old Coventrians and Sutton Coldfield.
Wymondham U10s played at Welford Road in the quarter-finals on the day of Tigers' Aviva Premiership Rugby match against Newcastle Falcons in November and head coach Paul Wootton says his players are looking forward to their return.
'They are really excited,' he said. 'They have been training hard. It is a huge event for any young player to play at one of the leading rugby grounds. Everyone is as high as they can be at the moment.
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'We have about 50 supporters coming. We have had a lot of support, not just from our age group but from the club as a whole. It is a measure of the importance of the tournament.'
Now in its 17th season, the Prima Tiger Cup is supported by Loughborough-based Prima Solutions. It is a contact tournament open to all under-10s teams from across the country, with more than 50 teams entering this season's competition.
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North Walsham U10s, meanwhile, will also run out at Welford Road on Sunday, this time in the Prima Tiger Bowl.
Walsham were edged out in the final of their regional Prima Tiger Cup festival at Swaffham RFC in November. After drawing with Ipswich in the final, they went out because their opponents scored first.
But they will get a chance to play in front of a Welford Road crowd when they face Stoke in their semi-final, with Lutterworth taking on Stamford in the other last-four game.
Alan Hepburn, North Walsham U10s coach, said: 'They are really up for a good time. The players can't wait for the whole experience.
'Having the opportunity to come across is a massive thing for them. We are bringing a coach load across, so it should be a good day.'
The semi-final draw was made by Tigers and England scrum-half Ben Youngs, who played at North Walsham at a young age.
Hepburn said: 'Ben is an ex-Walsham player and along with his Tigers team-mates Calum Green and Ben Pienaar, the lads look up to these guys.
'During the autumn internationals, on a Sunday morning after Ben Youngs had been playing for England, a lot of the boys were excited, particularly after his Australia game.'
Tickets for Tigers' Heineken Cup clash with Treviso (kick-off 1pm are available now from the ticket office at Welford Road, by calling 0844 856 1880 or visiting the club website www.leicestertigers.com