In her new role as Patron of the Rugby Football Union, The Duchess of Cambridge visited Twickenham Stadium on Wednesday 2nd February to meet England players, coaches and referees and join a training session taking place on the pitch.
The Rugby Football Union is the national governing body for grassroots and elite rugby union in England and with 1,900 member clubs is one of the largest sports organisations in the country. Founded in 1871, it promotes and runs the sport, educates and trains players and officials, and runs the England men’s and women’s elite performance teams. The RFU’s goal is to strengthen and unite rugby union in England and produce consistently successful England teams.
During her visit, The Duchess met members of the men’s and women’s squads and their coaching teams as they prepare for the Six Nations Championships. Her Royal Highness heard about the teams hopes for the upcoming year, including for the Women’s World Cup which will take place in New Zealand in the autumn, and how the pandemic has impacted the sport over the past two years. She then joined players for a skills session on the pitch, run by Head England Coach Eddie Jones.
Following the session, The Duchess met referees Wayne Barnes and Sara Cox for a pitch-side chat to hear more about the journeys they have taken to become professional referees, and about the highlights and challenges that they have faced during their careers.