Kate’s ready to tackle her next role as patron of England rugby boards

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It has been confirmed that the Duchess of Cambridge is taking over from Prince Harry as patron of England Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union.

The Queen handed the Duchess the royal patronages and Kensington Palace said the sporting appointments “closely align with Her Royal Highness’ long-standing passion for sport and the lifelong benefits it can provide”.

Kate’s new affiliation with England Rugby puts her in direct competition with her husband the Duke of Cambridge who is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.

William and Kate are already known for their friendly rivalry with one another, particularly during on-pitch sporting engagements.

Taking up her new role the Duchess joined England rugby players for a training session at Twickenham yesterday and impressed onlookers with her skills even scoring a try.

Ahead of her outing, Kate said on a social media post: 

“I am so thrilled to become Patron of the Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union – two fantastic organisations who are committed to harnessing the power that sport can have in bringing communities together and helping individuals flourish.

“I look forward to working with them across all levels of the games, and to cheering England on in what promises to be an exciting year for both sports! C.”

The Duchess was welcomed by England captains Courtney Lawes and Sarah Hunter who chatted about their hopes for the upcoming year, including for the Women’s World Cup which will take place in New Zealand this coming autumn.

Kate then joined the men’s team where coach Eddie Jones put her through her paces.

Asked about her playing skills, England player Maro Itoje said:

“She’s very good for someone who doesn’t regularly play rugby. Her skills are very high.”

Bill Sweeney, Chief Executive of the Rugby Football Union said:

“It is a great honour to welcome The Duchess of Cambridge as our Patron. Our aim is to enrich lives, introduce more people to rugby union, develop the sport for future generations and create a successful thriving game across the country. 

“As rugby clubs have re-opened across the country, players, officials, and volunteers are celebrating being back in the game together, and we know the support of The Duchess will be greatly valued from our grass roots clubs and fast-growing women and girls’ game, right up to our elite Men’s and Women’s England teams.”

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