The annual competition, established in 1996, promotes skills and sportsmanship among young players through a friendly but hard-fought competition. The 2011/2012 tournament will bring together around 3,000 players aged between eight and 13 in 120 teams from 80 schools.
The Lexus National Schools Rugby Tournament will feature four regional festivals, in Warwick, Reigate, Richmond and Epsom, from which the top teams will progress to the competition finals at Epsom College on 4 March next year. The action begins on November 13 at Warwick School for teams from the North and the Midlands.
Prizes will include the chance for one school to win a training day with former England and Saracens star, Richard Hill MBE. Richard is no stranger to supporting Lexus sponsored activities, having been the ambassador of the 2010 Lexus Great British Bike Ride, which saw thousands of pounds raised for Help for Heroes, the Rugby Players’ Benevolent Fund and the RFU Injured Players Foundation.
Tim Button, Event Director, welcomed the new sponsorship: “Lexus has long been an advocate of such social enhancement through sporting opportunities and we are excited to be commencing the first rounds of the tournament with its generous support.
“Over 17 years the event has provided tens of thousands of children with the opportunity to play rugby in a friendly, competitive, exciting, yet safe environment. Many have since carved careers in the professional game, but equally many go on to play to other levels, continuing to enjoy the genuine camaraderie the game engenders.”
Richard Balshaw, Lexus Director, said: “The Lexus National Schools Rugby Tournament represents all that is best about the sport and is an excellent way of encouraging and developing the skills of young people. It gives us an excellent opportunity to support the endeavours of these young players and also a great arena in which we can promote our businesses and our vehicles.”