A young rugby fan from Leicestershire had a weekend he won’t forget after playing an important role during Rugby World Cup 2023, in France.
Seven-year-old Hugo Hardy, led England and Argentina onto the pitch in Marseille as a Defender of Tomorrow and Mascot ahead of the two teams beginning their Rugby World Cup campaign on Saturday, September 9.
The inspiring youngster was selected after his efforts in raising awareness of Autism. It’s estimated that globally, 1 in 100 children have the condition, including his own cousin.
In a submission video, Hugo spoke out for those with the condition and protecting his cousin Eli – encouraging him to not hold back and embrace every opportunity he can.
Speaking about his experience, Hugo said: “I was nervous at the start but when I ran out it was amazing and I can’t wait to share the experience with my friends. I just can’t believe the whole experience and singing the national anthem in front of Princess Kate. I am forever grateful for this opportunity”.
96 children have been chosen from around the world by Defender, Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2023, for their dedication to making a difference to their local communities.
Each exceptional hero will lead the teams as they walk out onto the pitch throughout the tournament in France.