HEAD coach Craig Burrows said he endured a rollercoaster of emotions as Oxfordshire discovered they would be ending an 11-year wait to return to Twickenham.

Having been handed a walkover by Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire & Derbyshire in the County Championship, they were made to sweat as their hopes rested on their rivals.

But Buckinghamshire failed to pick up a bonus-point in beating Essex, seeing Oxon top Pool 1 of Bill Beaumont Division 3.

The coaches and players, who had met at Chinnor for a volunteer recognition lunch, found out the result via social media and a call to the RFU confirmed their place at the national stadium against Sussex on Sunday.

“It was a rollercoaster, with the disappointment on Friday, thinking that was it, and then finding out on Saturday,” said Burrows, who captained Oxon the last time they reached the final in 2006.

“It was good that we had a lot of the team at the lunch.

“We were just waiting for the result, a positive one – it was really good.”

Captain Allan Purchase, who plays for Oxford Harlequins, still can’t quite believe he will be leading the side out at Twickenham.The 27-year-old said: “We saw the score was 12-0 to Bucks and we thought ‘well it’s on’. “We were sat on the edge of our seats watching the Twitter feeds and it was brilliant.”

Vice-skipper and Banbury scrum half Ed Phillips added: “It’s caught me off guard a bit. I’m not sure if the shock or excitement came first – it’s unbelievable.”