Pupils to play at Twickenham final

A BOROUGH school rugby team is preparing to play in front of an 80,000 crowd at Twickenham on Saturday.

Southridge First School will take part in the half-time show at the Aviva Premiership final.

After winning a regional tag rugby tournament at Druid Park, the Whitley Bay-based school will first enjoy a morning coaching session from World Cup winner Will Greenwood on the hallowed Twickenham soil.

Then at half-time of the Harlequins against Leicester Tigers game the Whitley Bay youngsters will take on other schools from across the country.

The prize is part of the £2m invested into the grassroots game by the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, which is aligned to the national curriculum.

The programme – implemented in 650 schools – hopes to unearth the England rugby players of the future and Southridge PE teacher Sharon McIntosh believes she has stars aplenty among her young charges.

“We are all absolutely delighted,” she said.

“All of them have been fantastic and to make it to Twickenham is the icing on the cake.

“This is our first year on the programme and we have received some brilliant coaching, but to make it past the regional stage is brilliant.

“The children have never been to Twickenham before, so to put some of the skills we have learnt to the test in front of 80,000 people will be great.

“It’s all they can talk about, and some of their classmates are jealous, but we could only take ten.”

The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is designed to increase participation in the sport and unearth young England stars of the future.

Find out more at avivapremiershiprugby.com