2:34pm Wednesday 30th May 2012
PUPILS from Burley Gate Primary School got the chance of a lifetime as they competed in a tag rugby tournament at half-time in the Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham.
The teams strutted their stuff in front of a packed crowd and under the watchful gaze of World Cup winning pair Will Greenwood and Matt Dawson.
They were then able to watch as Harlequins claimed the Aviva Premiership title with a 30-23 victory over Leicester.
The pupils were able to experience playing on the Twickenham turf as part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme which is being implemented at 650 schools around the country.
And head teacher Ian Burrell revealed the pupils had been talking about little else in the weeks before the big day.
He said: “When the kids found out we were coming here, a couple of them asked ‘what’s ‘Tickenham’?’ but when I explained what it was about, that Twickenham is like the Wembley of rugby, they were really excited.
“Most of them haven’t been to somewhere like this before, they’re a bit gobsmacked, a bit awe-inspired.”
Pupil Lily Stephens added: “The stadium’s massive, huge and so I was a little nervous.
“The coaches coming from Gloucester helped a lot, we really improved and we work well as team now.”
And Dawson, who started at scrum-half when England won the World Cup back in 2003, admitted he had been impressed by the standard on show.
“At that age I remember being involved with curtain raisers meeting former players in the park, watching them play so it’s nice to do it back for them,” he said.
The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is designed to increase participation in the sport and unearth young England stars of the future. Find out more at avivapremiershiprugby.com
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