ENGLAND rugby star Henry Slade returned to his former school on to open a new playground.

The Exeter Chiefs back visited Plymouth College Preparatory School and reminisced about his time there and caught up with some of his former teachers before opening the playground.

Slade, who featured in all England’s autumn internationals against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia, also chatted to the pupils, many of whom are keen rugby players themselves.

The new playground, which is equipped with a sandpit, obstacle course and hopscotch, has been part-funded by the Parents’ Association and designed by locally-based play specialists Green Scheme Solutions.

Simon White, from Green Scheme, said: “We worked closely with the school to develop an eco-friendly playground; installing a challenging play trail made from recycled plastics and an all-weather play grass surface, allowing the pupils to play outside all year round.”

Mrs Turner-Moore, Chair of the Parents’ Association, said: “The Parents’ Association have worked hard to raise funds for the new playground and we would like to thank everyone who has helped out. We are so proud to be able to provide such a brilliant facility for the school which will last for many years to come.”

Former Ivybridge RFC junior Slade has now earned 17 caps for England, with his first coming in 2015. His first opportunity to represent his country came in 2010 when he played for England under-18s. He then gained experience in Plymouth Albion’s first team before going on to represent England Under-20s and force his way into Exeter Chiefs’ first team.




This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.