A YOUNG Kingswinford rugby fan got the experience of a lifetime when he unveiled his school’s new Canterbury shirt in front of thousands at Twickenham.

Just minutes before England kicked off against Italy in their RBS 6 Nations clash on Sunday (February 26), Crestwood School pupil Lewis Brett proudly stepped onto the famous pitch wearing his school’s new kit.

Lewis was one of 100 students from across England who appeared at the game representing his school as part of the CBRE All Schools programme, an initiative launched in 2012 by the Rugby Football Union, which aims to get more state secondary schools playing rugby and encourage students to join local clubs.

The 16-year-old admitted the whole day, which also saw him meet England international Billy Vunipola, line up on the pitch for the anthems and then sit in the crowd afterwards for the action, would live long in the memory.

Lewis, who was joined on the day by teacher Stephen Evans, said: “Being on the pitch was great because it felt like I was one of the players. It was a great atmosphere and singing the anthem was unbelievable.

“It means a lot for me to be here for the school because our team didn’t play that much rugby, but now we do.”

Pupils from Pedmore Technology College, who are also members of the All Schools programme, were also in attendance at Twickenham on the day and joined Lewis on the pitch.

Each shirt which was unveiled on Sunday was individually designed by the students at a Canterbury kit design workshops last year.

England and Saracens number eight Vunipola was on hand at the kit unveil to share his experience of what it means to represent England, the importance of the shirt and take centre stage at Twickenham on match day.

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 about the programme visit www.englandrugby.com/allschools