A young fan from Birley Secondary School got the experience of a lifetime when they unveiled their school’s new Canterbury rugby shirt in front of thousands at Twickenham ahead of England’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Italy.

Just minutes before England kicked off against the Italians on Saturday, George Sedgewick proudly entered the famous Twickenham pitch wearing his school’s new playing kit for the national anthems.

The opportunity came as part of the CBRE All Schools programme, launched in 2012 by the Rugby Football Union, which aims to get more state secondary schools playing rugby and encourage students to join local clubs.

George was one of 62 students from across England who were picked to unveil their new shirts in front of thousands of rugby supporters on behalf of their respective schools.

And the 12-year-old admitted the whole day – which also saw him meet CBRE All Schools Ambassador and England international Sam Underhill, line up on the pitch for the anthems and then sit in the crowd afterwards for the action – would live long in the memory.

“It was really cool to be able to design our own shirt and the finished design looks really good, I couldn’t believe how great it looked when I first saw it,” said the Year 8 pupil.

“I’d never been to Twickenham before, it was my first time, and it was an incredible experience to go out on the pitch - the atmosphere was like nothing else.

“I was really nervous before hand but it was a bit of a dream come true and I was really proud to be able to represent my school out on the pitch.

“I started off playing rugby in PE and then I got into the team and as I loved tackling I just kept doing it. I just really enjoy playing rugby and being part of a team.”

Each shirt was individually designed by the school children at Canterbury kit design workshops last year. Pupils worked with Canterbury employees to learn about the core values of rugby, the pride associated with the shirt and the importance of colours, logos and emblems.

Underhill was also on hand at the kit unveil to share his experience of what it means to represent England, the importance of the shirt and take centre stage at Twickenham on match day.

“It’s been brilliant to see how enthusiastic the kids are about rugby in general and the kit,” said the Bath Rugby star. “I think it’s great they have been given something they can own.

“Giving them the chance to design the kit mean they have something they can be proud of and something that represents them and their school.

“We’ve seen such a range of kids, different shapes and sizes, boys and girls, and everyone seems to genuinely enjoy their rugby which is what it’s all about.

“It is a great experience for them to go out onto the pitch at Twickenham and the great thing about rugby, whether you’re grassroots or semi-professional, professional, it’s still the same game.

“The more people playing rugby the better and growing the game to schools and people that wouldn’t normally have played otherwise is fantastic.”

CBRE All Schools supported by Canterbury is one of the RFU’s key legacy programmes, set up to increase the number of state secondary schools playing rugby union in England. Visit www.englandrugby.com/allschools to find out more.