England are reinforcing their connection with the grassroots game by inviting young players from the senior squad’s formative clubs to be mascots for the game on November 24.
Dan Cole, Manu Tuilagi and Thomas Waldrom have nominated South Leicester, Hinckley and Market Harborough rugby clubs respectively while Ben and Tom Youngs have nominated Holt RFC.
The mascots will run out at Twickenham in their club kit alongside the player if selected as part of the 23-man match day squad to face South Africa.
And even if ‘their’ player is injured or not selected in the match day squad they will still be able to watch the game and will enjoy a memorable day at the Home of England Rugby.
And O2, as a long-standing partner of the RFU and keen supporter of grassroots rugby, will also welcome the 30 plus Under-12s to watch training at Pennyhill Park, Surrey today (Monday, November 5). They will watch the squad train, meet the players afterwards and be given some England memorabilia from O2.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “The England players take the responsibility of representing the country very seriously, on and off the field.
“They feel they represent not just themselves, but also their family, friends and all those that have helped them on their journey, so it was important to offer this opportunity.”
RFU Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger, said: “We are working hard to develop England Rugby at all levels and to strengthen the connections from the grass roots to the England senior team. England players start out their involvement in the game at local clubs across the country – this is a great opportunity to celebrate with those clubs and to raise the profile of where the players have come from – hopefully inspiring the next generation to believe that they too can one day play for England.”
Clubs are also being encouraged to celebrate the occasion on match day to enjoy and reflect on the very real contribution it has made to the success of English rugby by screening the game in its clubhouse.
Player and club
[Where a player has gone straight into the Aviva Premiership they have nominated a grassroots club]
Anthony Allen (Trojans RFC)
Chris Ashton (Orrell St James RLFC)
Brad Barritt (Old Albanians RFC)
Mouritz Botha (Bedford Athletic RFC)
Mike Brown (Salisbury RFC)
Danny Care (West Park Leeds RFC)
Dan Cole (South Leicester RFC)
Alex Corbisiero (KCS Old Boys RFC)
Tom Croft (Newbury Blues RFC)
Lee Dickson (Banbury RFC)
Phil Dowson (Wigton RFC)
Owen Farrell (Wigan St Patrick's RLFC)
Toby Flood (Alnwick RFC)
Ben Foden (Crewe & Nantwich RFC)
Alex Goode (Cambridge RFC)
Dylan Hartley (Crowborough RFC)
James Haskell (Maidenhead RFC)
Tom Johnson (Reading RFC)
Jonathan Joseph (Derby RFC)
Courtney Lawes Northampton Old Scouts RFC)
Jo Marler (Haywards Heath RFC)
Ugo Monye (Tedddington RFC)
Ben Morgan (Dursley RFC)
Tom Palmer (Barnet Elizabethians RFC)
Geoff Parling (Stockton RFC)
Chris Robshaw (Warlingham RFC)
Charlie Sharples (Dursley RFC)
Manu Tuilagi (Hinckley RFC)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Hove RFC)
Mako Vunipola (Thornbury RFC)
Thomas Waldrom (Market Harborough RFC)
Rob Webber (Pocklington RFC)
David Wilson (Westoe RFC)
Tom Wood (Barkers Butts)
Ben Youngs (Holt RFC)
Tom Youngs (Holt RFC)