Rugby-loving Hartlepool students get a kick out of Five Nations trip

Aidan Jackson-Smith with Bath rugby player and project ambassador Dave Attwood.
Aidan Jackson-Smith with Bath rugby player and project ambassador Dave Attwood.
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Four Hartlepool students had a day to remember at the home of English rugby.

The youngsters got to step out on the pitch at Twickenham on Saturday ahead of England’s 6 Nations clash against Ireland.

Jack Clark of Manor Community Academy meets Dave Atwood.

Jack Clark of Manor Community Academy meets Dave Atwood.

They were among 100 children from across the country who had designed rugby shirts for their school in the CBRE All Schools programme, an England Rugby initiative to get more state secondary schools playing rugby.

Jack Clark, from Manor Community Academy, Oliver Webster, of St Hild’s School, Aiden Jackson-Smith, from Dyke House Sports and Technology College, and Tyler McGaw, from High Tunstall College of Science, wore their school’s custom-made designs for the first time.

They had designed the shirts with school friends at workshops run by England’s official kit supplier Canterbury last year.

One lucky pupil from each school was selected to attend the unveiling at Twickenham.

This is a fantastic initiative and I am proud to be an ambassador of a programme aimed at giving youngsters the chance to play rugby

Dave Attwood, Bath rugby star

Each boy also got to meet Bath rugby player and project ambassador Dave Attwood.

Dave said: “It was great to meet the students and to listen to them talking excitedly about their experiences of designing their own school’s rugby shirts and being at Twickenham.

“This is a fantastic initiative and I am proud to be an ambassador of a programme aimed at giving youngsters the chance to play rugby.”

After meeting Dave, the students formed a guard of honour on the pitch in front of 82,000 fans to welcome the England and Ireland teams.

Oliver Webster of St Hild's School with Dave Attwood.

Oliver Webster of St Hild's School with Dave Attwood.

And they took centre stage to sing the national anthem with official England Rugby anthem singer Laura Wright before taking their seats to enjoy England’s 21-10 victory.

Chris Stephenson, chief executive of Canterbury, said: “This is our third year as official partner of the CBRE All Schools programme, something we are extremely proud to be part of.

“I know the students felt immense pride in wearing a shirt that they designed at such a huge game. Hopefully, some special memories were made.”

Dave Attwood with Tyler McGraw of High Tunstall College of Science.

Dave Attwood with Tyler McGraw of High Tunstall College of Science.