Students play on hallowed turf in build-up to Six Nations game and welcome England and Wales teams onto the pitch
Most rugby players can only ever dream of running out onto the hallowed turf at Twickenham. But on Saturday students from Bilton School and Harris CofE Academy turned that dream into reality.
They played a touch rugby curtain raiser before England’s 12-6 Six Nations victory over Wales, as well as forming a guard of honour as the teams took to the pitch.
In an unforgettable day, members of Bilton’s Year 7 and 8 rugby teams played two mini games of seven-a-side touch rugby with Harris, in the build-up to the international.
The youngsters also relished the opportunity to see behind the scenes at the stadium.
After welcoming the players to the field and singing the anthems they were able to enjoy the game. The fast paced, high intensity action between the two nations had students on the edge of their seats.
This was a fantastic opportunity and greatly enjoyed by all. The RFU have been involved with rugby at Bilton for both boys and girls teams and this experience was one that students will remember forever.
In a monumental day in the Harris PE department calendar, 14 students were selected due to their consistent effort and commitment to rugby extra-curricular clubs and fixtures held both in and outside of the school.
These students included: Alfie J, Nathanial K, Will R, Max B, Ryan P, Brogan M, Jacob R, Alexis, M, Alice M, Kaysie P, Leigha W, Jemima D, Annabelle B and Harriet C.
Following a visit to the England Rugby store where the pupils bought mementos of the day, once inside the stadium they were located in one of the many dressing rooms not far from where the England and Wales teams were situated.
The pupils were able to walk out of the players’ tunnel and onto the pitch for the dress rehearsal, which gave a real sense of the enormity of the Twickenham stadium.
Although no official scoring took place for the games, Harris showed tremendous effort and demonstrated the skills they had learnt in lessons.
Kaysie P also spoke to Twickenham TV, the in-house TV station, about her involvement in rugby and the CBRE All Schools programme at Harris.
As the games finished, the pupils were able to see the England team come out for their initial warm ups with the likes of Owen Farrell and George Ford practising their kicking routines.
All students were exceptional on the day whilst showing the Harris values and contributed to a great advertisement and promotion of the Academy.
Annabelle B said: “It was very exciting. The atmosphere in the stadium was amazing.”
Harriet C added: “It was really exciting and it was a great experience to see the players coming out. It was really good to hear the national anthem being sung.”
And Kaysie P summed up saying: “It was a once in a lifetime experience.”