Frampton Cotterell RFC veteran Alex Moore can’t wait to embark on an unfamiliar path that could eventually lead to the StoneX Stadium.
The amateur rugby club from just outside Bristol host Spartans from Gloucester in the first round of the Papa Johns Shield, part of the inaugural Papa Johns Men’s Community Cup this Saturday.
Involving over 500 grassroots clubs in 24 competitions, the finalists will earn themselves a trip to the Home of England Rugby or other prestigious venues as part of the Papa Johns Community Cup Finals on 30 April and across the weekend of May 6 and 7.
The new competition pits old friends and new foes against each other, with 42-year-old prop Moore itching to test himself against hitherto unknown opposition.
“The team are so excited,” said Moore. “It’s great to have something new and a competition to focus on after the league’s finished.
“The boys are relishing the opportunity to get a couple of games against teams you wouldn’t normally play.
“And obviously, there’s the chance for a little away day on the bus to a big stadium, which is always a great incentive.
“The great thing about this cup is that I’ve played quite a few different teams in Gloucester over the years, but I’ve never played Spartans before.
“It’s an opportunity for the guys to play completely new teams, form new rivalries, meet different people, have a chat after the game and find new friendships.”
And for a team that is largely formed of young and up-and-coming players, Moore believes the cup is a fantastic chance to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Moore said: “In the team we’ve got a few players who’ve been to cup finals before. We’ve got quite a young team so there’s a few players who’ve never had that experience.
“Our average team age is about 19, so I’m double the age of most of our players! It’s something I’m really looking forward for them to experience.
“But it’s great for me too, because it’s a new experience for myself. You’re five games away from a final.
“It’s an opportunity for these guys to have a great day and make memories they won’t ever forget. That’s the glory of the cup.”
The hardened Moore is more than grateful for the fresh legs in and around him, as his playing career enters its final stages.
“The younger guys try to play rugby, proper rugby, passing and running,” said Moore. “So I won’t lie to you, there’s a few times in a game where I have to let them carry on and I’ll catch up when I can!
“But it’s brilliant to play with the youngsters and see how good they are. I’m always learning stuff off them and I’ve been around the block.
“It keeps me going and they definitely give me an incentive to stay fit.”