KINVER schoolboy Rhys Jones is celebrating after scoring the opportunity of a lifetime to step out on the pitch with the England rugby team at the World Cup in Japan later this year.

The Kinver High School student, who is in year eight, found out live on BT Sport Rugby that he had won the DHL Moment that Delivered competition run by BT Sport Rugby and DHL Rugby.

Rhys, who played for Walsall under 12s last year, managed to secure the coveted prize - after more than 17,000 votes were cast on social media.

Members of the public rallied to support Rhys after watching a video showcase of his rugby skills online.

Proud dad Gavin Jones said: "We are obviously made up by Rhys winning the DHL Rugby Moment competition, as all of the finalists would have been worthy winners.

"Whilst Rhys received a lot of positive feedback for the tackle that he made in entry clip, what really got everyone's attention was the fact he showed the core values and ethos of rugby by immediately checking that the player he had tackled was ok."

He added: "The entire evening at the Rugby Tonight studio was an amazing experience, where Rhys got to meet the presenters Sara Elgin, England World Cup winner Ben Kay, former England winger Ugo Monye, former Ireland and British Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll and England prop forward Kyle Sinkler who really went out of his way to make Rhys feel special.

"We had absolutely no idea Rhys had won until Ugo Monye visited our dressing room to take us on a 'tour' of the studios.

"As we entered the studio area, we could see everyone in there but even then it didn't click. It was only when Brian O' Driscoll introduced himself and announced 'You are going to Japan' that we realised. Next thing we knew we were surrounded by confetti and a huge cheer from the crowd."

Rhys received a bag of World Cup goodies from Kyle as well as a Harlequins playing shirt, which Kyle signed for him, and he is now looking forward to delivering the match ball on to the pitch for the England vs France game on October 12, which will be England's final Rugby World Cup group stage match.

Mr Jones said: "Rhys is absolutely ecstatic to have won, though we don't think it has fully sunken in yet. He is extremely grateful to anyone that voted for him and he cannot wait to visit Japan for what will be a once in a lifetime experience."

Daniel Taylor, headteacher at Kinver High School, added: "Everyone at Kinver High School is delighted. Rhys is a very talented sportsman, playing for school teams in addition to his rugby outside of school, and we are particularly pleased that the sportsmanship that he showed on the rugby pitch has ultimately led to such a reward."