A Rushden youngster is counting down the days until the Rugby World Cup kicks off after being surprised by Land Rover with the news that he will be an official mascot.
Rhys Hamber, 11, attended a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup last season along with his Rushden and Higham RFC team.
It was there that he impressed with his imaginary speech to the Wales team ahead of the world cup final, which has now earned him his own spot in the tournament.
Hamber will be Fiji’s mascot when they face Uruguay a the Stadium MK in Milton Keynes on October 6 and the Manor Sports College pupil said he can’t wait for the big day.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere and seeing all the people cheering when I walk on to the pitch.”
The youngster will be one of 96 official world cup mascots selected by Land Rover as part of its We Deal in Real campaign.
He added: “I’m going to be the mascot for Fiji and can’t wait to see them perform their war dance.
“It will be an amazing experience.”
Lewis Moody knows just how important a world cup is, having helped England lift the trophy in 2003, and the Land Rover ambassador admits he would love to be in Hamber’s shoes.
He said: “Rhys has earned the right to be part of such an amazing experience as a home rugby world cup and to be honest I am jealous.
“I’d have bitten your arm off to play in a home rugby world cup – I was too young and immature in 1999 and now sadly I’m too old and too mature.
“Sometimes a rugby world cup can seem a bit inaccessible to people so the fact that Land Rover have been taking the Webb Ellis Cup around the country and also selecting mascots is fantastic.
“It’s like Rugby World Cup 2015 is coming to you – I love that.
“It’s inviting young players to get involved with the world cup, understand what it’s about and get excited by it – it’s brilliant.”
Land Rover is a worldwide partner of the world cup and is recruiting all 96 official mascots for the tournament as part of its ‘e Deal In Real campaign.
For more details follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal.