A RUGBY super fan from Ledbury enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rub shoulders with the entire England squad before the World Cup begins this weekend.

Victoria Marker, 21, was selected as one of more than 30 fans who battled it out to be crowned ‘The Unstoppable Fan’ at The O2 as part of its Wear the Rose Live event.

The England squad, now in camp ahead of Saturday's Group D opener with Argentina, were in attendance as fans were first tested about their knowledge of the game before competing in a passing challenge with the players.

Cardiff University student Marker, who studies Business Management, revelled in being able to meet her heroes, especially vice-captain Ellis Genge.

“It’s hard to support England when you live in Cardiff because everybody including my boyfriend and all my housemates are Wales fans, so I always get a lot of stick,” said Marker.

“You’ve got to fly the flag and be unique when you’re in a proud country such as Wales. I go to loads of Wales games and almost all the England games there. I try to join in and give it back to them.

“I didn’t really know what I signed up to but it’s cool. I really like Ellis Genge, he’s down to earth and I think we got on well.”

Fans were able to pose pictures and get shirts signed by the England players, and Ben Youngs revealed the players thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of their most hardcore supporters.

The scrum-half said: “It’s a brilliant initiative from O2 and we’ve all loved taking part. It’s been inspiring to see such amazing support behind the team just before we leave for France.

“Congratulations to all who were involved, your support means the world to me and all the team.”

Maro Itoje revealed the squad enjoyed the day just as much as the players, adding: “O2’s Wear the Rose Live event is a fantastic and hugely inspirational initiative ahead of travelling to France next month that brings together the players and fans like never before.

“Seeing so many passionate England Rugby supporters competing alongside us players to become the ‘Unstoppable Fan’ just shows the support and dedication for the squad and how much the sport, and what we do out on the pitch, means to people.”

And No.10 Marcus Smith said: “To be part of O2’s Wear the Rose Live event and helping to find England Rugby’s ‘Unstoppable Fan’ has been such a great experience for the team and I.

“Meeting and competing with 33 of the most passionate fans in a variety of fun-filled challenges has been brilliant - it’s been great to see them put their knowledge to the test, showcase their love of the game and really reveal just how much they know!

“Everyone here today should feel really proud, and when next month’s tournament gets underway, we hope the fans will be cheering us on and watching how we progress.”

Fans were selected due to their dedication to the England team, with each writing in with their reasons as to why they should make the final squad.