Calder High pupil has experience of a lifetime at Twickenham

Declan Knapping with England Rugby star and CBRE All Schools Ambassador Billy Vunipola
Declan Knapping with England Rugby star and CBRE All Schools Ambassador Billy Vunipola
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A young rugby fan from Calder High School had the experience of a lifetime when he unveiled the school’s new Canterbury rugby shirt in front of thousands at Twickenham ahead of England’s Six Nations clash with Italy.

The opportunity was part of the CBRE All Schools programme, launched in 2012 by the Rugby Football Union, which aims to get more secondary schools playing rugby.

Declan Knapping, 12, was one of 100 students from across England who took to the pitch before kick-off, unveiling their school’s newly designed shirts ahead of the national anthems.

Declan said: “Showing the shirt to everyone when we walked around the pitch was a really proud moment.

“We had the white rose of Yorkshire put in on the side of our shirt because we’re proud of where we come from. The school’s colour is red and so we put that as the main colour as well.”

Each shirt was individually designed by the school children at Canterbury kit design workshops last year.

The students also had the chance to meet England and Saracens Rugby star Billy Vunipola, who is also the CBRE All Schools Ambassador.

He said: “It’s great to see more state secondary schools getting involved in rugby through the CBRE All Schools programme.”

“The atmosphere in Twickenham on match day is very special and it’s fantastic that the students got to experience it first-hand. Who knows, maybe one of them will be playing for England one day!”

CBRE All Schools supported by Canterbury is one of the RFU’s key legacy programmes, set up to increase the number of state secondary schools playing rugby union in England.

For more information visit www.englandrugby.com/allschools.