STREATHAM-Croydon's U11 starlet Diran Oresanya insists he loved every minute of his Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup experience despite missing out on a place at Twickenham.

Launched during the 2008-09 season, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is the first national grassroots tournament officiated by Premiership Rugby and run in conjunction with all 12 clubs.

Last weekend, Harlequins hosted the latest leg of the competition, as the top U11 rugby teams met at Richmond upon Thames College in the shadow of Twickenham stadium.

More than 7,000 children take part competing for a spot in the ‘Parade of Champions’ at half-time of the Aviva Premiership Grand Final at Twickenham in May.

And while Oresanya was not able to lift the U11s trophy, his team narrowly failing to reach the final, the 10-year-old remained proud of his side.

“It’s good playing against other teams, you can learn off them and use what you’ve learnt to get better,” said the St Thomas Becket School pupil.

“We haven’t played against most of the teams here so we’re learning all the time. I started playing rugby when I was four years old, so six years ago.

“It’s a fun sport – I like how it’s more of a team game, instead of an individual sport, so you can work with your friends to win.

“It would have been really amazing to go on the pitch at Twickenham in front of that crowd. It would have been incredible.”

Harlequins Academy stars Archie White and Sam Aspland Robinson were on hand, and were impressed with the talent on display.

Flanker White believes the competition will help all the youngsters develop a lifelong love of the sport.

“Growing up, I played for Sutton & Epsom, so you’re coming to these sort of things all the time,” he said.

“Being able to put your talent on show in front of some of these guys is a really good experience for the youngsters and I think it’s great for the future.

“Getting people more involved in the sport is the main thing and that starts with grassroots rugby.

“I’m sure that’s where most professionals started – it’s a massive experience and it’s growing as well. It’s so good for the future of the sport.”

Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade. Land Rover’s ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign aims to champion grassroots rugby on the global stage during Rugby World Cup 2015. Follow @Land RoverRugby #WeDealInReal