Wittering girl Brooke ready to step out as All Blacks mascot in Rugby World Cup Final
A 10-year-old girl will follow in the footsteps of her great grandad when she steps onto the Twickenham turf for the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.
Brooke Fleming, from Wittering, is one of the lucky few to have been chosen as a mascot for the match on today (Saturday, October 31), which will be screened on ITV at 4pm.
Brooke and her family are all big rugby fans. But making the moment even more special is the fact that her grandad Peter Brooke has also set foot on the Twickenham turf when he played for England against Scotland in 1930.
Brooke got the chance to be a mascot after winning a competition at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September. She had to pretend to give a team talk ahead of the final, and while clutching a photo of her grandad, she said: “Don’t just play to win. You should also play to make you team and your country remember you for generations to come.”
The stirring speech impressed the judges and after a few weeks of waiting Brooke finally got the call to say she would line up with the teams ahead of the final.
“I wasn’t really too sure if I would win,” she said. “It took some time for me to find out so I thought that it wasn’t me. But I was really excited when I found out.”
Brooke has a big day ahead of her tomorrow. She will get to the stadium early to take part in a rehearsal, before spending some time with her mum Tamsin and her grandad Nick. She will then go back to Twickenham ready for the big occasion.
She has been practising her handshake and is trying to imagine what the atmosphere will be like.
“It’s going to be quite loud,” she said. “I’m excited but a little bit nervous.”
The proudest person in the stadium is likely to be grandad Nick, whose father it was that played for England in the 1920s and 1930s.
Brooke’s mum Tamsin said: “He’s a big rugby fan. We were on holiday when we found out and he was delighted.
“I’m really excited for her. But to be able to take my dad to the match is even better. He cried when we told him he had a ticket.”
Prior to the semi-finals being played, Brooke said her ideal final would be Australia against New Zealand - correctly predicting the outcome. She is rooting for an Aussie victory as she lived there for a couple of years. She is a pupil at Copthill School in Uffington.