THREE local schoolboys had a day to remember at the England-Italy Six Nations match at Twickenham.
Ollie Luxton, 14, from The Regis School, Taylor Clarke, 12, from Felpham Community College and Jake Nardone of Ormiston Six Villages Academy in Chichester went on to the pitch before kick-off.
The trio proudly represented their schools as part of the All Schools programme, an England Rugby initiative to get more state secondary pupils playing rugby.
They were wearing bespoke rugby shirts which were designed by a group of pupils from their respective schools at a Canterbury Kit Design workshop.
Some 100 schools in the programme attended the workshops, each designing a rugby shirt for their school team. Canterbury took their designs away and put them into production, with the final results being unveiled on the pitch in front of an 82,000 crowd.
One pupil from each school was chosen to take part in the celebrations. Their day began with a presentation of their new shirts before making their way outside to form a guard of honour to welcome the England and Italy teams.
The group headed back inside for some lunch before having individual photographs taken with two of England women’s World Cup winners, Sarah Hunter and Emily Scarratt.
After that the 100 students lined up on the pitch each holding a large St George’s flag as the players ran out of the tunnel. They continued to wave the flags to the singing of the National Anthem before heading to their seats to enjoy the match, which England won 47-17.
Chris Stephenson, CEO of Canterbury said: “I know the students will have felt proud wearing a shirt they’ve personally designed, seeing all the unique designs together on the pitch was a great spectacle for us to witness and hopefully a very proud moment for them.”
The pupils came by this honour by being nominated by peers or teachers, drawn out of a hat or chosen because of their commitment to rugby and its core values.