Prince Harry has revealed he still feels like ‘a Labrador with a tennis ball’ every time he sees a rugby ball.
The prince spoke of his love for the game as he visited a training session for the England rugby team at Twickenham, although he admitted ‘numerous injuries’ have forced him to quit playing.
For a moment, however, those injuries seemed to be put behind. The prince stepped out onto the pitch and pretended to do some stretches in preparation to join in the training, much to the crowd’s excitement, only for him to turn back and join the coaches for a chat instead.
In the stands, the prince joined young people from the Try for Change, an England Rugby programme using the power of rugby union to improve the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged people in England and across the world. In the changing rooms, he also met representatives from charities working to support vulnerable people engage in the game. He chatted to teenagers who were helped to change their behaviour through playing rugby.
The royal said, “It’s very easy to be shy and quite reserved as a kid growing up, but who would’ve thought getting smashed on a pitch, maybe not at your age, but going down the pub afterwards would give you friends for life.
“It’s guys like you who are ambassadors for the sport. You are living proof that it works.
“The discipline is crucial, the teamwork, the respect for others. It doesn’t matter where you are, it’s all the same values. It brings the most amazing people together and opens your eyes to things you wouldn’t really think about otherwise.”
Harry went on to reveal his playing positions before calling time on his rugby career. “I played scrum half for about five or six years until I got too tall and instead of being a forward I elected to be a fly-half.”
Prince Harry is patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). He is expected to watch England’s upcoming Six Nations match against Scotland on 24 February.