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Norwich students taken to Twickenham to play five-a-side before Six Nations kicks off

PUBLISHED: 11:31 03 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 03 March 2017

City Academy Norwich's Year 8 and 9 students who played in the showcase match at Twickenham. Picture: RFU

City Academy Norwich's Year 8 and 9 students who played in the showcase match at Twickenham. Picture: RFU

TEN Group/RFU

Sporting students made the way for rugby stars as they played a five-a-side match at Twickenham.

CAN student Tiason Finch  evades a tackle during the showcase match at Twickenham. Picture: RFU CAN student Tiason Finch evades a tackle during the showcase match at Twickenham. Picture: RFU

The year eight and nine boys from City Academy Norwich (CAN) played in the showcase touch rugby match ahead of England’s Six Nations clash with Italy at the end of February.

The 11 students also formed part of the guard of honour that welcomed international players onto the pitch before kick-off, where they remained during national anthems.

It was organised by the CBRE All Schools programme, which gave the school a three-year investment of £10,000 for a full-sized rugby pitch, kit and equipment.

Two years ago, the academy didn’t have a rugby team but today there are now five school teams and more than 75 students regularly taking part in matches.

City Academy Norwich students form part of the guard of honour ahead of England v Italy. Picture: RFU City Academy Norwich students form part of the guard of honour ahead of England v Italy. Picture: RFU

Year nine student Jake Roper, 13, was among those who played at Twickenham.

He said: “I just tried to think of it as another match. The overall experience was really good.

“The guard of honour was actually quite nerve-wracking because of how many people were there watching, but it was great to get a close up view of all of the players.”

Crispian Ford, 12, added: “It was unbelievable that we got chosen to have that opportunity.

CAN student Bradley Cooper makes a break for the try line during the showcase match. Picture: RFU CAN student Bradley Cooper makes a break for the try line during the showcase match. Picture: RFU

“My favourite parts were watching the game and being on the pitch in front of 80,000 people as part of the guard of honour. Getting to play at Twickenham was amazing.”

Neil Moggan, the school’s director of sport, said the students had an “awesome time” and said the CBRE programme had made a “significant impact” at CAN.

“We’ve seen students really grow, in terms of their confidence, through rugby,” he said. “They have become more mature, taken on leadership roles across the school.

“It’s been a really powerful force for good and helped develop the students’ character. We put a big emphasis on the rugby core values of respect, teamwork, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship, and that’s really starting to come through across the whole school.”

For more information visit www.englandrugby.com/allschools

• Do you have an education story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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