Jack Johnson was a lucky mascot as England enjoyed a 57-14 Six Nations win over Italy on Saturday.
The 11-year-old from Wigan led out the team with captain Owen Farrell at Twickenham in front of 82,000 fans.
Jack suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for which there is no cure, and the charity set-up by his mum Alex and dad Andy, who played alongside Farrell’s dad for Wigan in the 1990s, is funding ground-breaking research to find treatments and a cure.
The youngster was joined by Eli Crossley, 11, and Felix Robertson, six, who also suffer from the condition.
Farrell, who celebrates goals with the “JJ salute”, told The Telegraph before the game: “My dad and Jack’s dad played together at Wigan and our families are very close.
“The charity has been a huge part of our family’s lives. Everyone who donates or who tells their friends and they then go on to spread awareness or raise money, then they are helping us find a potential cure.
“If I can help spread awareness by doing the salute when I kick a goal, it’s the least I can do.
“Every time I kick a goal I do the Joining Jack sign which is two Js linked together for Jack’s charity and for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He is used to seeing the Joining Jack sign now but for him to run out at Twickenham will be special for him but equally it will be special for us as well.”
Farrell, a former Wigan St Patrick’s amateur, kicked four conversions and a penalty as England cruised to a victory which keeps their hopes of winning the Six Nations title glowing.
After the game, a tweet on the Joining Jack Twitter account read: “Wow! What a fab job by these 3 Duchenne warriors! Jack walked out with our terrific ambassador and @EnglandRugby captain Owen Farrell and his friends Eli Crossley and Felix Robertson from @DuchenneUK for the @SixNationsRugby clash with Italy.”