TWO Taunton RFC regulars grabbed the chance to strut their stuff on the big stage at Twickenham Stadium.

Wellington-based pair Shane Jordan, 29, and scrum-half Leigh Cash, 28, were rewarded for their dedication to grassroots rugby with a place at the NatWest RugbyForce invitational, played at the home of England Rugby last Sunday.

The duo were coached by England legend Will Greenwood and supported from the sidelines by Red Rose royalty in George Ford and Paul Grayson.

And despite suffering a 26-17 defeat to a side led by World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi, Cash says the experience was one he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

“I was really emotional for the first part of the day but when the whistle went, you try and get your game face on,” he said.

“Players who make the top level of rugby don’t even get to play at Twickenham, so it was an absolute honour.

“I went to the Premiership final the previous weekend to support Exeter Chiefs, and to watch a game at Twickenham then play there within a week is totally surreal.

“I was imagining what it would be like to play there but the feeling was indescribable in the end.

"They are great memories that I’ll always cherish.”

Prior to their Twickenham debut, players were invited to regional training sessions, where they were given elite coaching from the likes of Greenwood, Alphonsi, Grayson and Steve Borthwick.

This year saw the introduction of the NatWest RugbyForce Invitational fixture; all registered grassroots clubs were entered into a draw for a chance to have players from their club receive exclusive access to elite rugby coaching and the opportunity to play a game at Twickenham.

Greenwood, whose women’s side prevailed 20-5, said: “Life’s about experiences and sharing something with your friends.

"You can see how happy this opportunity has made everyone here today and their enthusiasm is infectious.

“I remember my first game at Twickenham in a county final back in 1990, and the idea of running round the pitch you’ve seen hundreds of times is unbelievably special for these men and women.

“It’s the highest peak they’re likely to summit in the game of rugby, so it’s a special day and I’ve had lots of fun being involved.”

NatWest is the Official Banking Partner of England Rugby. This year NatWest RugbyForce is making it easier for grassroots clubs to access rugby through its NatWest RugbyForce Invitational fixture, offering grassroots players the chance to play at Twickenham (@NatWest_Rugby)