Rugby schoolgirl leads out England team at World Cup - The Rugby Observer

Rugby schoolgirl leads out England team at World Cup

Rugby Editorial 9th Oct, 2019   0

A DREAM came true for a young rugby player from the birthplace of the game when she led the England team out at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Issy Herron, 11, led her heroes out on to the pitch ahead of the match against Argentina on Saturday (October 5) as an official Land Rover World Cup mascot.

The English Martyrs Catholic Primary School pupil first learned she had been chosen when she had a surprise visit from an England rugby star in June.

Issy could barely contain her excitement when fly-half George Ford visited her school to break the news.

Rugby player Issy thought it was a normal school day – until she was summoned to the headmistress’s office to find Ford waiting for her with a bespoke ceremonial Rugby World Cup 2019 Land Rover cap, one of seven presented to all UK selected mascots.

England fly-half George Ford paid a surprise visit to Issy in June to tell her she had been chosen as a Rugby World Cup mascot. Picture by James Robinson.

Issy, who plays for Old Laurentians RFC, said: “I can’t believe it!

“I was asked to go to my head teacher’s office and saw George sitting there! I was really shocked and lost for words.

“I am so excited!”

George, who also drove Issy, her mum and brother home for tea, said: “Huge congratulations to Izzy on her mascot place for Rugby World Cup 2019, a once in a lifetime experience for any young rugby fan.

“I hope it inspires her to keep playing rugby. I hope she and her family enjoys every minute of this money-can’t-buy prize.”

It was Issy’s second surprise in as many weeks, having also met Rugby World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson at the Premiership Rugby Final and recorded her video audition to enter the mascot competition, in which she demonstrated the values of grassroots rugby.

Issy’s big day out in Japan ended in triumph, with England running in six tries and beating Argentina 39-10.

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