Schoolchildren from across Hounslow proved they are pass masters by teaming up with Lawrence Dallaglio to mark one year to go until the Rugby World Cup 2015 opens at Twickenham Stadium.

About 100 pupils from five different schools in the borough propelled the ball one mile between them from Redlees Park, in Isleworth, to the venue's gates this morning.

The event was organised to promote rugby in Hounslow and get more young people playing the sport ahead of the tournament, which will run from September 18 to October 31 next year.

Tickets for the competition are on sale now and fans have until 6pm on September 29 to apply for seats at one of the 48 games taking place.

Video thumbnail, Pupils join Rugby World Cup one year countdown
Video Loading

Mr Dallaglio, who was part of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup winning team, said he was impressed by the skills on display this morning.

"They did a fantastic job and no one dropped the ball, which is more than can be said for a few professionals," he said.

"The Rugby World Cup is about creating memories and hopefully this is a memory those involved will be able to cherish."

Pupils from Cranford Community College, Heston Community School, Rivers Academy, Feltham Community College and Lampton Academy completed 1,104 passes between them this morning.

Hounslow Council hopes to capitalise on the competition taking place on its doorstep - although Twickenham Stadium lies within Richmond, which is the host borough, the Rugby Football Union's headquarters just over the road fall within the borough of Hounslow.

Hounslow Council leader Steve Curran said: "Promoting rugby and other sports is really important to us because we want to reduce obesity rates and help children get fitter and healthier.

"I'm delighted with the number of girls here today as it's really important to promote women's rugby, especially with England just having won the World Cup.

"We're working with the RFU to embed rugby in all our schools as we want the legacy from the Rugby World Cup to be a sustainable one."

Video thumbnail, Rugby World Cup one year countdown
Video Loading

As well as getting more children in Hounslow playing the game, the council is keen to promote the borough to its national and international visitors during the tournament and to ensure its own residents are able to soak up the atmosphere.

It plans to hold a six-week rugby festival in Redlees Park , though details have yet to be confirmed, and there are likely to be big screens set up at other locations in the borough.

The council has set up a Rugby World Cup steering group, chaired by its chief executive Mary Harpley, to look at how to make the most of the tournament, as well as addressing issues like transport.

As for on-the-field matters, asked whether he believed rugby could capitalise on the England football team's ignominious exit in this summer's World Cup to win a few converts from the beautiful game, Mr Dallaglio said: "I think everyone in rugby is behind the England football team.

"What you will see in the Rugby World Cup whether you're a follower or a first-time supporter is the national team giving everything they have.

"You will see the courage, bravery and skill, and hopefully the pride and passion, required to represent your country. That's no disrespect to football; that's just the way rugby is."

Hounslow Council leader Steve Curran with Rugby World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio outside Twickenham Stadium

When it comes to England's chances next year, Mr Curran appeared more optimistic than Mr Dallaglio.

"I'm sure we will win," said the council leader.

"England will be a very tough side to beat. They can win if they play at their very best," was the more hedged response from the former Wasps star, who hails from Shepherd's Bush.