Just minutes before England kicked off against the defending Grand Slam champions on Saturday, 17-year-old Yasaar Khan proudly walked onto the pitch wearing his school’s new playing kit for the national anthems.
Yasaar goes to Holly Lodge College of Science in Smethwick.
He received the opportunity as part of the All Schools programme, launched in 2012 by the Rugby Football Union, which aims to get more state secondary schools playing rugby.
Yasaar was one of 75 students from across England who were picked to unveil their new Canterbury shirts in front of thousands of rugby supporters on behalf of their respective schools.
And the 17-year-old admitted the whole day would live long in the memory.
“It’s amazing and a real privilege to be able to come to Twickenham, England’s home stadium and wear my kit,” said Yasaar. “This has been one of the greatest experiences that I’ve had in a while.
“I’m really loving all the different shades of blue on my kit. It’s the colour of our school but it’s also so vibrant with all the different shades and the logo stands out with the blue as well.
“Everyone gets to come together in rugby to work together and join the huddles. It’s just such a great sport.”
Each shirt was individually designed by the school children at kit design workshops last year, where pupils worked with Canterbury employees to learn about the core values of rugby, the pride associated with the shirt and the importance of colours, logos and emblems.
The All Schools programme, 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.