A STIRLING COUNTY youngster has won a once in a lifetime prize to become an HSBC cub and train with The British & Irish Lions squad before they leave on their summer Tour of Australia. 11-year-old Finn McIlwraith from Dollar in Clackmannanshire is an aspiring rugby player who competed at the Stirling Country RFC mini rugby festival this year, .

A player from each age group playing in the annual tournament was selected by the match referees after displaying sporting ability and the values associated with rugby.

Boys and girls from across the country competed at the tournament, supported by HSBC in the build-up to the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia, in age groups from under 9 to under 12. Finn McIlwraith who plays for Stirling Country RFC was selected in the under 12 group by the referees for his outstanding commitment on the field of play. Throughout the tournament referees were on the lookout for children aged under 13 who demonstrated the core values of rugby as well as sporting ability; attributes such as friendship, courage, team work and fair play were as important as being good at the skills associated with rugby.

Finn who has been playing rugby for five years was delighted to have been selected.

He said: "I am so happy to have been chosen to meet the British & Irish Lions at their training camp. It's a real privilege to be able to do this and to meet the best players in the country. I love playing rugby so to meet The Lions is a dream come true for me!" In all, 23 HSBC Cubs have been selected from mini-rugby festivals around the country in the build-up to The Tour. The HSBC Cubs will attend an exclusive training session with The British & Irish Lions squad on 16th May before the squad leaves for Australia on their Tour.

As part of their sponsorship of The British & Irish Lions, HSBC is partnering with youth rugby festivals across the British Isles in support of grassroots rugby.