Twickenham delight for Malden Manor and Pulborough
19 April 2007 14:35pm
<1R>Pupils from both Malden Manor in Kingston, Surrey and Pulborough in West Sussex enjoyed an unforgettable day as they took to the field to play tag rugby in front of more than 50,000 fans at the EDF Energy Cup final at Twickenham last Sunday (15th April).
The pupils were there to represent NEC Harlequins, as part of the new EDF Energy National Schools Rugby Programme, which is introducing close to 100,000 children to the sport over the next three years.
Leicester Tigers beat Welsh side the Ospreys 41-35 in a thrilling EDF Energy Cup final, while Cornish Pirates came back from being 6-16 down to beat Exeter Chiefs 19-16 in the EDF Energy National Trophy. In all, 16 schools from across the country took part in the tag rugby displays, with eight schools playing during each half-time.
Louise Poole, EDF Energy's Head of Brand, said: "I watched the tag rugby displays and it was great to see the future of rugby union represented by children from both Kingston in Surrey and Pulborough in West Sussex. The EDF Energy National Schools Rugby Programme is all about producing the next generation of fans and players, and Sunday's EDF Energy Cup and EDF Energy National Trophy finals at Twickenham were the perfect occasion to highlight our commitment to that ambition."
"I hope all the children involved had a great day and will continue to enjoy and play rugby for many years to come."
<2>The children, all aged nine and ten, also took part in a parade around the pitch before the EDF Energy Cup final, which was broadcast live by the BBC, and all received EDF Energy goody bags.
The EDF Energy National Schools Rugby Programme began in January and is one of the most comprehensive in world rugby, involving boys and girls from primary schools across England. Schools where rugby has never been played before are among those being targeted. Tag rugby is a non-contact version of the sport that teaches the skills necessary to go on and play rugby union.
Every Premier Rugby club, as well as National League sides Exeter Chiefs and Cornish Pirates, are providing coaching and running regional tag rugby festivals.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.