Students who attend schools run by Chester-based North West Academies Trust now have the chance to learn from sporting role model – former England rugby international Phil Greening.

The 42-year- old, who also played for the British and Irish Lions during an outstanding career, has become the Trust’s new sports ambassador.

This exciting opportunity will see children benefitting from schools including Ellesmere Primary Academy and Cheshire primary academies St Martins, Delamere and Oak View.

Phil, who earned 24 England caps, said: "I’m delighted and honoured to be sports ambassador for the schools. I want to help children get active, understand the importance of nutrition and what you get from sporting activities. I am very passionate about educating children to eat healthily. There are so many adverts pushing things that are unsuitable for growing youngsters, and I want to share my knowledge to guide them towards informed decisions. If children understand why they should eat broccoli – what the anti-oxidants are doing for their bodies – they really get into it.

"My wife, Adele, and I have made sure our kids know the difference between white bread and brown bread, what being active does for their bodies, and how it makes them feel. I want to help children make the right decisions and create positive new habits."

Phil has built up a wealth of coaching experience since retiring from the game in 2005. As part of his work with Wasps, London Welsh, Scottish Rugby Union and the USA Olympic Committee, he has developed huge knowledge of the most effective and cutting edge equipment and practices to get people to prime shape.

Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, said: “We are very proud that Phil has agreed to be our sports ambassador, and excited at the positive impact we are certain he will make.

"We pride ourselves on creating diverse and interesting learning environments at all our schools, and work hard to make sure children don’t spend their days just sitting at a desk.

"Promoting sport and a healthy lifestyle is fundamental to everything we do, and Phil will be the perfect role model for our pupils."