ENGLAND rugby league fans may have left Elland Road disappointed following last Saturday’s 30-8 Four Nations Final defeat but for 17 youngsters it will be a night that will live long in the memory.
The youngsters from Birstall Victoria ARLFC had been chosen to lead out the England side as mascots.
Many of the eight, nine and 10 year olds were left star struck at walking out with their heroes before the match, while they also got to stand in front of the England side for the national anthems.
Birstall Vic junior chairman Paul Frain said: “The kids had a really great night. They were a little star struck when the teams came into a tunnel but it will be a night they will never forget.
“The England players were fantastic, introducing themselves to each of our lads before they walked out and our youngsters wished each player good luck beforehand.
“We may have lost to the Aussies again but none of our lads were disheartened and their spirits were not dampened.”
Joe Frain walked out with his hero, Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield, while Dylan Rhodes got to stand side by side with one of the most sought after players in world rugby, Wigan’s Sam Tomkins.
Birstall’s smallest player McKenzie Jefferson had the honour of leading the England team out onto the field, hand in hand with captain Jamie Peacock.
After leading the teams onto the field, the youngsters watched the match from the South Stand.