Picture gallery: Wendens youngsters make guard of honour at Wasps match

PUBLISHED: 12:49 18 January 2014

Ball Tunnel of Honour.

Ball Tunnel of Honour.

Richard Lane Photography

Budding young rugby players got the chance to rub shoulders with their heroes during a memorable day out.

Olly Keys was selected by the Wasps coach as “clubman of the year” with the honour of running out and placing the match ball in the centre just before kick off in front of a 15,000 strong crowd. Olly Keys was selected by the Wasps coach as “clubman of the year” with the honour of running out and placing the match ball in the centre just before kick off in front of a 15,000 strong crowd.

Eighty-seven players, with parents making the contingent 170-strong, from Wendens Ambo Mini RFC made the trip to Premiership partner club London Wasps on the Saturday before Christmas.

The young players benefitted from two hours of coaching from Wasps in the morning, and followed it up by watching the team take on title contenders Northampton Saints in the afternoon.

The youngsters also formed the largest guard of honour that Wasps have ever had to welcome the players onto the Adams Park pitch, led by the match mascot, James Ollerenshaw, and Olly Keys as ‘ball runner’ – a prize awarded by Wasps as clubman of the year.

Wendens Ambo chairman Iain Keys said: “Most clubs normally take 40 players, so it was a massive day out for the good folk of Saffron Walden. The turnout was so large we had a whole section of the stand! Wasps were amazed with the mass and laid on a special pre-match presentation of a signed shirt in honour.

“It was a memorable day for all involved and there was a great festive spirit – it was testament to the strength of support from the players and parents.”

Unfortunately for Wasps, Saints squeezed a victory with the last kick of the game.

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