Kate Middleton is taking over the role from Prince Harry

Duchess of Cambridge becomes England rugby patron

The Duchess of Cambridge has been announced as the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League patron.

The role of English rugby patron was previously held by Prince Harry before he stepped down from royal duties.

As part of the announcement, Kate Middleton spent a day at Twickenham, meeting players from both the England men’s and women’s teams.

She also took part in training, including being lifted in a lineout by Red Roses Sarah Bern and Hannah Botterman.

You can watch what she got up to on the day here…

On becoming patron, Middleton wrote on Twitter: “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!”

The women’s Rugby World Cup starts in October and the Rugby League World Cup will take place later this year too. First up, though, is the men’s Six Nations, with England’s campaign kicking off in an away match against Scotland on 5 February.

RFU CEO Bill Sweeney 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. 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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