A young Welsh rugby fan had a weekend she won’t forget after playing an important role during Wales' epic win over Australia at the Rugby World Cup. Lowri Nash, 12, had the experience of a lifetime leading Wales onto the pitch in Lyon, France, on Sunday.

Lowri and her mum Anne flew to France on Friday, which was Lowri's first time on a plane and visiting France, and had an "amazing experience" when meeting the team ahead of Sunday's triumphant match. Starstruck Lowri, from Beddau, said: "It was amazing, seeing all the players and Jac Morgan is now one my favourite players - he’s just amazing."

Anne said Lowri had a "fantastic" experience with the whole team and it made her day meeting Jac Morgan, who took the time to speak to her and calm her nerves before walking out onto the pitch. Anne added: "He is her favourite, that’s all she talks about now is Jac Morgan.” Before the match, they also got to go into the changing rooms, had photos with the players and Lowri also met the Australian mascot.

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They also had a great time exploring the city, interacting with rugby fans and had an overall “amazing experience.” Lowri felt like a “little celebrity” as she was recognised by rugby fans on the plane home, with one fan even handing her a £20 note for doing such a great job.

Lowri getting on a plane for the first time to France

The inspiring youngster was awarded the role for her dedication to playing rugby despite having health setbacks. Lowri started playing rugby at five years old for Beddau RFC after watching her two older brothers play the sport since she was three, when she first picked up a rugby ball. Lowri plays scrum-half, adding: “I love that position and I always have.”

Lowri was nominated by her rugby coach for the Defender of Tomorrow competition to be a mascot for the team. She was praised for showing courage and positivity throughout her rugby season, showing true strength to fight an illness and never giving up. 96 children have been chosen from around the world by Defender, who are a worldwide partner of Rugby World Cup 2023, for their dedication to making a difference to their local communities.

Lowri got to go into the changing rooms before the match

Anne said that Beddau RFC were "very supportive, accepting, and didn’t treat her any differently to the other children", and they were excited to tell her during Lowri's rugby presentation evening this summer.

Lowri was a "fit and healthy" child before experiencing health issues at seven years old, which had a big impact on her life. Anne said: “The only thing she’d ever get upset over was not being able to play rugby.” But despite the setbacks, Lowri still continues to play rugby twice a week and has recently joined Cardiff Quins RFC. Sign up here to our newsletter for all the latest news from the Wales camp.

Wales players line up during the anthem ahead of facing Australia
Players, officials and mascots line up ahead of Wales v Australia