Market Deeping lad is World Cup mascot

editorial image

This year’s Rugby World Cup may be a disappointment for England fans, but will be a memory to treasure for one Market Deeping lad.

Henry Sullivan-Porteous (8) was selected as one of 96 official Rugby World Cup mascots following a competition held at Burghley Horse Trials.

Rugby fan Henry was handed the responsibility of walking out alongside England for their 35-11 Pool A victory over Fiji at Twickenham Stadium. Disappointingly, they went on to lose to Wales in a 28-25 contest and will have to beat Australia to keep their World Cup campaign alive.

Henry was said to carry out his job in front of thousands “superbly”, walking out with the teams and then lining up in front of the England players for the national anthems.

His memorable day out continued when he then took a seat in the crowd to cheer on the action, and Henry admits he couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

He said: “It was such a good day all round. We had to rehearse beforehand and then we got to wait in the tunnel for the players.

“We waited and waited and then they came out. They were all so big. I got to walk out with England captain Chris Robshaw, which was great.

“It was so loud in the stadium with everyone cheering. After the anthems we got to watch the game. Owen Farrell is my favourite player so it was good to see him.”

Henry was chosen as a result of a booklet he created for the World Cup, which he said included “how you would welcome a team, and how we would give them fish and chips and they would get to meet the Queen”.

Lawrence Dallaglio, who helped England lift the trophy in 2003, said Henry did “a fantastic job”.

Land Rover is a worldwide partner of Rugby World Cup 2015 and recruited all 96 official mascots for the tournament as part of its We Deal in Real campaign – @LandRover#WeDealInReal