Deeping youngster Henry is England’s mascot in opening Rugby World Cup game
An eight-year-old youngster stepped out at Twickenham on Friday hand-in-hand with England Rugby captain Chris Robshaw ahead of the opening game of the England World Cup.
Henry Sullivan-Porteous, a pupil at Copthill School in Uffington and from Market Deeping, was selected as an official mascot in England’s first game against Fiji. England eventually went onto win the game 35-11.
Henry was given this once in a lifetime opportunity by Land Rover as part of its Rugby World Cup 2015 mascot programme. Henry won the chance to become the mascot in a competition at Burghley Horse Trials, held at Burghley House from September 4 to 6, when horse trials sponsor Land Rover visited with the Rugby World Cup Trophy.
Henry is a huge rugby fan and plays for Deeping Rugby Club’s junior team Deeping Dragons.
During an amazing day for Henry, he greeted the England team at the airport and visited Buckingham Palace. The group then went to Twickenham ahead of the game. Henry was given a full England mascot kit, including boots, but Henry stayed true to his local roots by wearing his own Deeping socks.
Henry’s proud mum Glynis said: “Henry said the whole experience was better than Christmas and the best bit was running out with Chris Robshaw and singing the National Anthem.”
Copthill School pupil Brooke Fleming has also been selected as a mascot and will find out later which match she’ll be attending.
Land Rover has recruited mascots from each of the competing nations, providing 96 youngsters the chance to lead out a team at Rugby World Cup 2015. Thousands of youngsters aged between seven and 13-years-old applied for the programme by taking part in rugby challenges at grassroots events around the world.
Stamford teenager Ed Anthony also took a starring role in the opening ceremony of the World Cup. Find out more here