Prince Harry was at Twickenham today, where he attended an English rugby training session and spoke to young players who have benefitted from the Try for Change programme.
Harry, who is the patron of English rugby, was there to watch the team’s open training session as they prepare for next week’s Six Nations game against Scotland. The Royal Family have a strong connection with the various rugby teams in Britain; Harry’s brother, The Duke of Cambridge, is the patron of Welsh rugby, while their aunt, Princess Anne, is the patron of Scottish rugby.
The groom-to-be watched the training session from the stands, where he was joined by former English player Jonny Wilkinson and young players who have been involved in the Try for Change scheme; this programme is run by English rugby which aims to use the sport as a force for good, offering new opportunities to help improve the lives of young people across the country.
In the changing rooms, Prince Harry met with representatives from other charities and organisations who use rugby to bring positivity to people’s lives, including Sporting Memories Foundation, which partners players with lonely older people in a scheme designed for physical activity and reminiscence.
Harry also met with Plymouth Sports Charity, which works with young people who have become disengaged from school, and Manchester Spartans, a LGBT-friendly team for first-time players.
Prince Harry, accompanied by @JonnyWilkinson, takes his seat in the stands alongside young people from Try for Change to watch the @EnglandRugby team prepare for their next Six Nations game. pic.twitter.com/DgsPwfppvL
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 16 February 2018
While the Prince no longer plays rugby, Harry revealed that he is like “a Labrador with a tennis ball” when he sees a rugby ball. Harry used to play both scrum-half and fly-half, but no longer plays the game due to “numerous injuries”.
As well as speaking to the young people from Try for Change, Prince Charles’ youngest son also spoke to young coaches, telling them: “You’re now the ambassadors for the sport and the difference it makes. We can spend as much time as we can trying to drill it into people but you’re it and the fact it works and makes a difference and is so simple — the most important thing is that development and you are having fun at the same time.”
The open training session was attended by roughly 10,000 people, and Harry himself took to the pitch to speak to the English players and coaches. The England team is currently second in the league, behind Ireland, with Wales and Scotland following in third and fourth position.
He was amongst the crowds watching his home team play – and win – against Wales last week, but missed the team’s first match against Italy, which was held in Rome earlier this moth.
This is Harry’s fourth engagement of the week; on Tuesday, he was in Edinburgh with Meghan Markle, while he supported his father, Prince Charles, on Wednesday in his campaign to save the coral reefs. Yesterday, the Prince was in Brent as part of the Fit and Fed campaign.