Blackley youngster Nathan Davis-Garbutt 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 Sedgley Park team, Davis-Garbutt attended a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup at Sale Sharks last season.
It was there that the 11-year-old impressed with his imaginary speech to the American team ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2015 Final, which has now earned him his own spot in the tournament.
Davis-Garbutt will now be America’s mascot when they take on Scotland at Elland Road on September 27, and the Manchester Creative and Media Academy pupil can’t wait to get going.
“I am glad, I didn’t expect it,” said Davis-Garbutt, one of 96 official Rugby World Cup 2015 mascots selected by Land Rover as part of its ‘We Deal in Real’ campaign.
“It is very exciting. When I found out I was surprised and happy.
“In my speech I just said if you feel like you are defeated then be more flexible. Then I put my feet behind my head.”
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 Davis-Garbutt’s shoes.
“Nathan 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