Morpeth youngster Matthew Lamont 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 Morpeth team, Lamont attended a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup at Newcastle Falcons last season.
It was there that the 12-year-old impressed with his rendition of the national anthem which has now earned him his own spot in the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Lamont will now be Samoa’s mascot when they take on Scotland at St James’ Park on October 10, and the Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School pupil can’t wait to get going.
“This feels awesome. I am very excited – can’t wait,” said Lamont, one of 96 official Rugby World Cup 2015 mascots selected by Land Rover as part of its ‘We Deal in Real’ campaign.
“Dad read out the last mail and I was thrilled.
“I am looking forward to being on the pitch with international rugby players – especially for the Haka.”
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 Lamont’s shoes.
“Matthew 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