England lock Joe Launchbury paid an inspirational visit to the pupils and staff of Broadfield Primary Academy.
The Wasps and England second row giant gave a 30 minute talk about his weekly training schedule, the diet he has to follow, and about his experiences on the training and playing fields.
More generally, he also gave advice about being successful, and the importance of working hard in school, before taking questions from the floor.
Headteacher Dave Tow said: “I met Joe at the entrance to the school and despite being 6ft 4ins myself I was immediately overwhelmed by his presence. Totally ‘uncooly’, my first words were: ‘Blimey, you’re enormous!’ followed swiftly by the professional welcome and smile I had intended to give.
“Thankfully Joe laughed saying he gets that a lot.”
A former pupil of Christ’s Hospital School, Joe spoke passionately about his education there and at Itchingfield Primary.
He told the children stories of his first rugby games as a young boy, how he had to work hard on and off the field to now be captain of London Wasps and to play in the second row for England.
A statement from the school said: “This gentle giant insisted on taking a full tour of the school and was keen to stop to have photos taken with every one of the staff who wanted one.
“Just before leaving, he even made sure he found the Headteacher who was only too delighted to pose with such an inspirational sports person.
“Leaving the school buzzing, Joe said his goodbyes, before heading off to his next appointments to inspire yet more children and head back to see his old teachers and the children of Christ’s Hospital.
“All of the children and staff at BPA are still talking about the incredible time Joe chose to spend in their school.
“And as for the next few weeks of 6 Nations Rugby, well... apart from the very proud Welsh Deputy Head, Sian Markham, Broadfield Primary Academy is gearing up to support the Red Rose and cheer on their new favourite local hero.”