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Prince Harry to become Vice Patron of the RFU

29 January 2010

  • Prince Harry will become RFU Vice Patron on February 6
  • Range of ambassadorial activities to commence at Centenary Match versus Wales

Prince Harry, who becomes Vice-Patron of the Union on February 6, coaching some school children

Photo: Getty Images

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is delighted to announce that Prince Harry is to become a Vice Patron of the Union with effect from February 6, 2010 when England play Wales in their opening game of the RBS 6 Nations tournament.

The Centenary Match takes place almost one hundred years to the day since the first ever international game at Twickenham Stadium, which was also England vs Wales.

Prince William, who is Vice Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), will join Prince Harry at the Six Nations match.

Prince Harry's new role will see him take on a range of ambassadorial activities and builds on his regular attendance at Twickenham as a supporter and on his gap year work experience spent working with the RFU in its community rugby programme.

In addition to his new Vice Patronage of the RFU, Prince Harry is to become Patron of the RFU's Injured Players Foundation, the RFU's official charity which supports players who have been catastrophically injured playing rugby at any level of the game in England.

At the match, Prince William and Prince Harry will play a significant role in the Centenary celebrations planned for the day which include the singing of Jerusalem and the National Anthem by massed choirs including over 300 local singers back by the Royal Artillery Military Band.

In particular Prince William and Prince Harry will meet with the military guard of honour and welcome eight injured servicemen from Headley Court and Selly Oak Hospital all of whom were injured in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. They will also meet the players on both sides as well as representatives of the RFU and WRU.

RFU President John Owen said: "We are delighted and privileged that Prince Harry has become Vice Patron of the RFU. He has been a great supporter of English rugby, from working with us in 2004 as a level one coach as well as supporting our successful bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

"His support for the RFU Injured Players Foundation will be invaluable in helping those seriously injured playing the game. We look forward to welcoming him, as well as Prince William, to what will be a very special centenary match at Twickenham on February 6."

Francis Baron, Chief Executive at the RFU, added: "Prince Harry has been a fervent supporter of the team for many years and was present in Australia in 2003 when we won the World Cup.

"It is fantastic to see that support now translating into a formal role and we are sure he will be a positive force for good for our Injured Players Foundation."