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Schoolboy stunned by World Cup mascot surprise

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A schoolboy could barely contain his delight after being surprised by Ben and Tom Youngs with the news he will be an official Rugby World Cup 2015 mascot.Jackson Shilcock was in assembly at Thurlaston Primary School in Thurlaston, Leicestershire when it was interrupted by the Leicester Tigers duo.   Brothers Ben and Tom were there to surprise Jackson with the news that following an audition at the Tigers leg of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, held at Oakham RFC in March, he had been chosen as an official Rugby World Cup 2015 mascot.   Jackson, who plays for Leicester Forest Under-11s, will be one of 48 official mascots chosen through the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, a series of national grassroots tournaments held by the 12 Premiership Rugby clubs.   “I’m just so excited and happy to have been picked,” said the 11-year-old.   “I was in assembly and then suddenly the cameramen came in and then the Youngs brothers. I had no idea what was happening and then I was told I had been picked.   “It really is amazing. I remember my audition when I had to say something that would inspire the team, so I said ‘come on lads, run fast and hit hard, we can do this.’   “Tom Youngs is one of my favourite players along with Dan Cole so it was really great to meet him.   “I think I will be nervous for being a mascot but excited at the same time.”   Land Rover’s mascot search forms part of their ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign that aims to put grassroots rugby on the global stage during this year’s Rugby World Cup.   Tigers hooker Tom Youngs said: “It was great going in and surprising Jackson, he was understandably very excited.   “He seems like a very good lad. If it had been me at that age being picked to be a mascot, I would probably have been a bit scared but he is really up for it and he will do a cracking job. “I think it’s a fantastic idea to pick out the mascots and get them involved with Rugby World Cup 2015.   “Grassroots rugby is the future of the game, it’s where we all started so it’s important to keep them engaged, and a Rugby World Cup is brilliant for that.”