By Jonnel Benjamin
Youngsters took inspiration from Leeds Rhinos stars at a competition which saw school teams playing tag rugby.
John Charles stadium played host to 20 schools from across Leeds today to play in the Tag Rugby Final.
The event is a warm-up for the excitement of the Rugby League World Cup in November, which will see games being played in Leeds.
The attendance of Rhino players sparked a burst of excitement from young players.
Back row Mitch Achurch, who is 6ft 4in, and outside back Joel Moon, at 6ft 1in, attended the event, chatting to the nine to 11-year-olds and signing autographs.
Mich told Leeds Northern he had no problems with working across codes to boost enthusiasm for the game …..
Former Leeds Rhino player Keith Senior, who also attended, said: “It quite groundbreaking that Leeds Rugby Foundation and Leeds City Council can come together and create a festival that all kids can come together and have a great time.”
The aim of the game is to pull a Velcro tag attached to each player, making it a non-contact sport and avoiding a full rugby tackle. Each team has a total of seven players and must have at least two girls.
Jason Minott, active sport officer for Leeds City Council, said: “It’s a generic tag. It joins Rugby Union and Rugby League rules together and these games have been running every year for the past five years.”
Mr Minott believed it was a great opportunity for young boys and girls to participate in a competitive environment.
Today’s winning team will go on to Twickenham hoping to match the success of last year’s national winners, Drighlington Primary School.