ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Cecily Early could barely contain her excitement after being named as an Official Mascot for Rugby World Cup 2019, Japan later this year, courtesy of an Official Worldwide partner, Land Rover.

The Stroud U11s starlet was successfully chosen after submitting an online pledge demonstrating how she embodies the values of rugby.

Attending the recent Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final, she received a behind the scenes tour of Twickenham Stadium from Rugby World Cup 2003 winning captain, Martin Johnson.

At the conclusion of the tour, Johnson revealed the surprise by presenting Cecily with a bespoke ceremonial Rugby World Cup 2019 Land Rover cap, one of nine caps issued to selected mascots from the UK.

Flying to Japan later this year, Cecily will lead England out when they play USA at Kobe Misaki Stadium.

Youngsters from across the UK submitted videos explaining why they should be selected. Cecily’s strong case showed how she demonstrated the values of grassroots rugby; integrity, courage, pride, composure and capability.

With just three months to go until the tournament kicks off, Cecily admits she is counting down the days already.

“It’s amazing, I can’t believe I’ll be going out to Japan. I think I will be a bit nervous, but I’ll also be very excited to meet the players. I am a huge England fan, so I really hope they win.

“I submitted a rap video explaining how I like to play rugby, work as a team and score tries. I never thought I would then be selected.

“Meeting Martin Johnson was incredible. He was telling me what to expect when I run out, and how amazing the experience will be.”

As a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019 (RWC 2019), Land Rover is recruiting 96 youngsters to win a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a match day mascot at the prestigious tournament in Japan. Highlighting Land Rover’s commitment to grassroots rugby, 67 youngsters aged between 7-13 years old from Japan and 29 youngsters from other competing nations will be selected to walk out onto the pitch alongside a national team at one of the 48 matches from 20 September to 02 November, 2019.

Land Rover ambassador Johnson added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Cecily and her family, it will be something they will never forget, you could see how much it meant to her.

“The grassroots game around the country is thriving and it’s great that Land Rover can connect grassroots rugby with the very top of the game. Japan will be an incredibly unique place to watch rugby, and I have no doubt it will be another historic tournament.”