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Thornton schoolboy set to fly the flag at Twickenham

Lewis Bates (left) with the schools rugby coach, Richard Byrne
Lewis Bates (left) with the schools rugby coach, Richard Byrne
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When the England rugby union team run out onto the pitch at Twickenham against Wales on Saturday, a Thornton schoolboy will be one of the proud flag bearers.

Lewis Bates, 15, a pupil at Millfield Performing Arts and Science in Thornton, has been chosen to attend as part of an initiative run by England Rugby.

Lewis Bates (left) with the schools rugby coach, Richard Byrne

Lewis Bates (left) with the schools rugby coach, Richard Byrne

Lewis is part of a thriving rugby set-up at Millfield, where there are teams in every school year and almost 80 students playing the game, under the direction of PE teacher Richard Byrne.

As well as being a flag bearer, Lewis will also be wearing the school’s new black and red rugby shorts, designed by students at Millfield.

Millfield is involved in England Rugby’s CBRE All Schools programme, which has been developed by the Rugby Football Union to increase the amount of rugby in schools.

Millfield was awarded £7,500 through the programme to cover three seasons, helping the school to buy equipment and cover other costs.

Richard, a former professional rugby player in Ireland, said: “As part of our involvement with England Rugby, a number of schools have been allocated to send a representative to Twickenham.

“It was a hard choice so we drew names out of a hat and Lewis was the winner.”

Lewis said: “I can’t believe it’s me that’s been chosen.”

The match kicks off at 4.45pm. There is coverage on ITV1 from 4.20pm.