Staff and pupils at a Penwortham school have rallied round to help send a trainee teacher to the Commonwealth Nines Championships on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Tyler Spence, 22, is a computer science teacher at Priory Academy and will be going to Brisbane this month to represent England in the competition.
England’s team is made up of Under 23s from the community game and Tyler plays for Wigan St Patrick’s in the National Conference.
Tyler, who has four England caps, and his team mates had to raise money to help fund the trip and school came to his aid by selling raffle tickets.
It will be tough to win a medal as all the other teams are professionals and we are amateurs,” said Tyler, who is full back in a 15-man squad.
He adddedL “England is the only team which is made up of amateurs and the favourites will be Australia.
“England are in a group with Tonga, Samoa and Papua New Guinea, who were champions in 2014 so it certainly won’t be a walk in the park!
“I can’t wait really, it will be the first time I have been to Australia and it’s fantastic that it’s to play rugby.”
Priory headteacher Matt Eastham said: “We’re always keen to support our pupils in any way we can so it’s been great to be able to show our support for one of our staff members as well.
“Tyler has been a great asset to the school since he started here with us on his teacher-training course. It’s great that the pupils have been inspired by him in the classroom and can now be inspired by him on the rugby pitch too. We’ll all be watching how the team get on over in Australia but how well Tyler does in particular. We wish him and his team mates every success.”