- Will Greenwood and Austin Healey train lucky 100 on Twickenham pitch
- Winners of England Rugby Junior Supporters Club competition aged 5-15
More than 100 aspiring England rugby players of the future, all aged between 5 and 15, have had the chance to train for a day on the pitch at Twickenham coached by World Cup winner Will Greenwood and England and British Lion back Austin Healey.
The boys and girls were all the lucky winners of an England Rugby Junior Supporters Club competition run through its online ‘Game On’ magazine, which is one of the membership benefits.
Not only were they able to train and play on the hallowed turf but they were also given personal tours of the changing rooms and had the opportunity to run out on to the pitch and line up for the National Anthem. They were also all given Nike training kit to wear on the day and keep afterwards.
As a key part of the day, Will Greenwood gave them all a team talk in the changing rooms and Austin Healey ran a skills and drills session on the pitch and both were impressed by what they saw.
Photo: RFU Archive
"The future of English rugby is in safe hands," said Greenwood. “Every one of them was passionate about the game, committed to improving their skills and most importantly they enjoyed it.
"It reminded me of all the reasons I got into the game in the first place and have stayed in the game for so long. Rugby and its values of teamwork and respect will have a long lasting effect on them all and it was my privilege to play a small role in that."
Healey added: "It was great to see their skills improve over the day. Even in the modern game the basic skills of the game have not changed – passing in front of the player, running good lines and keeping the ball alive – and with a bit of encouragement we were soon seeing passages of play to grace the Twickenham pitch. I am sure that some of them will end up playing high level rugby at some point in the future."
The England Junior Supporters club is the official fan club of England Rugby and a fantastic way for kids to get involved in the game and support England Rugby. Membership is only £5 for a host of benefits including the chance to be an England mascot at Twickenham.
Will Greenwood and Austin Healey were available on the day thanks to the JSC’s links with Super Skills Travel.