SPORTY youngsters marked the start of the Rugby World Cup with a visit from children’s author Tom Palmer.

Students at Magdalen College School in Cowley Place, East Oxford, were over the moon after the author stopped by to talk about his sports-based books on Thursday. Mr Palmer, whose books are published by Puffin, also invited boys at the junior school to join his World Cup-themed workshops.

The visit was on Thursday, the day before the eighth Rugby World Cup kicked off at Twickenham.

Mr Palmer tweeted after his visit: “Lovely day at Magdalen College School today.”

The author took his popular books along to the visit, including Combat Zone, which is the first in his latest series Rugby Academy.

His title has been shortlisted for the Coventry Inspiration Book Award 2016.

Mr Palmer, who is from Leeds and is set to appear at October’s Bath Festival, has also penned other sports-inspired fiction titles for children, including Football Academy and Foul Play.