Earlsfield youngster Josh Bowers admits he is counting down the days until Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off after being surprised by Land Rover with the news that he is an official mascot.
Along with his Battersea Ironsides RFC team, Bowers attended a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup last season.
It was there that the 12-year-old impressed with his imaginary speech to the England team ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2015 Final, which has now earned him his own spot in the tournament.
Bowers will now be a mascot when in the fourth quarter-final at Twickenham on October 6, and the Dulwich Prep School pupil can’t wait to get going.
“I am looking forward to being a mascot, running on to the pitch and seeing all the crowd cheering. It will be really cool,” said Bowers, one of 96 official Rugby World Cup 2015 mascots selected by Land Rover as part of its ‘We Deal in Real’ campaign.
“I am really hoping to see England but it’s a quarter-final so it will be a good game whoever is playing.
“My friends didn’t believe me when I first told them but now they do and they’re very jealous.”
Lewis Moody knows just how important a Rugby World Cup is, having helped England lift the trophy in 2003, and the Land Rover ambassador admits he would love to be in Bowers’ shoes.
“Josh 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,” Moody said.
“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 Rugby World Cup, understand what it’s about and get excited by it – it’s brilliant.”
Land Rover is a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015 and is recruiting all 96 official mascots for the Tournament as part of its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal