Rugby World Cup: Stockport youngster has unforgettable day as Canada mascot

Stockport youngster Ethan Hofton admits he will never forget his moment in the spotlight after getting the chance to run out as one of Land Rover’s Rugby World Cup 2015 official mascots.

Rugby fan Hofton was handed the responsibility of walking out alongside Canada for their 23-18 Pool D defeat to Italy at Elland Road on Saturday.

It came after the Stockport Rugby Club player was informed that following an audition at the Sale Sharks Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup last season, he had been chosen as one of 96 official Rugby World Cup mascots.

And while emotions were high ahead of running out in front of thousands of spectators, 12-year-old Hofton carried out his job 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, with King David High School pupil Hofton admitting he couldn’t have asked for a better experience of Rugby World Cup 2015.

“It was really fun,” he said. “The best bit was walking out of the tunnel as it was so loud.

“It was a really good atmosphere and I managed to say good luck to the Canada captain before the game. I thought Canada did well and I was cheering them on.

“It is so cool that I was part of the Rugby World Cup and it is a day I will never forget.”

Land Rover’s selection of mascots from around the country forms part of their ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign that aims to put grassroots rugby on the global stage during this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Lawrence Dallaglio is one man who knows about the pressure of performing in front of a large audience, having helped England lift the trophy in 2003, and the Land Rover ambassador admitted he had been impressed with how Hofton rose to the occasion.

“It is a big responsibility to be picked as a mascot for a home Rugby World Cup but Ethan did a fantastic job,” said Dallaglio.

“So many people will have been watching in the stadium and all around the world and Murray can always say that he played a part in the country hosting the competition in 2015.

“I’ve no doubt the experience will live with the mascots  for a very long time and hopefully it can inspire them going forward, whether that’s maybe one day playing for their country or just continuing to enjoy the sport of rugby which is what it’s all about really.

“It’s great to have young players from all around the country involved in Rugby World Cup 2015 by inviting them to be mascots.

“All those international players competing on the pitch would have come through from grassroots level, so the mascots will have got a real sense of what can be achieved.”

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

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