Saint Paul's pupil, Ben Gill, was delighted to have been selected to perform the National Anthem alongside Laura Wright, England Rugby's official anthem singer at the RBS 6 Nations clash. Ben, who is in Year 10 at Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe joined pupils from other secondary schools to sing in front of a crowd of 82,000 fans as the England and Welsh teams lined up on Twickenham's hallowed turf.
Ben had been selected to represent the school as he was instrumental in starting off the Saint Paul's after-school Rugby club as the school joined the Rugby Football Union's All Schools programme.
The pyrotechnics at the ground illuminated his distinctive rugby shirt which he, and other Saint Paul's pupils, designed at a Canterbury kit design workshop. Canterbury, the official kit supplier to England Rugby, runs the workshops for each school to get pupils interested in, and actively involved in, rugby for their school. They use their school colours, emblems and mottos to inspire their drawings, before the kit manufacturer produces the final shirts that are worn with pride by the school's new rugby team.
England Head Coach, Stuart Lancaster, said: "The anthem is a powerful force of unity and on a match day is crucial in building support from the crowd to get behind the team before kick-off. Having created a shirt myself at one of the Canterbury workshops, where the students were also learning about the game's core values, I'm looking forward to seeing the huge variety of designs on show on Sunday."
Ms Laura Wild, Head of PE at Saint Paul's explained: "Whilst designing their shirts, the pupils were able to learn about the core values of rugby, the pride associated with the shirt and the importance of colours, logos and emblems."
"The Rugby Football Union's All Schools, which has Prince Harry as its Patron, is a fantastic programme which we are proud to support," added Ms Wild.
Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul's commented: "There was an amazing atmosphere at Twickenham and we were proud for our school to have been involved. It was fantastic to see the newly designed shirts make their debut at such a prestigious venue and event."
"The staff at Saint Paul's have a passion for rugby and would like to use this to help build the skills, confidence and aspirations of the pupils. We now look forward to seeing them in action in their new shirts on the rugby pitch!" added Mrs Minshall.