Prince William is to become Vice Royal Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union from February next year.
The new post will support the work of Her Majesty The Queen, who continues to be Patron.
The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) is responsible for all levels of the game throughout Wales, from community clubs at the grass roots all the way through to the national team.
David Pickering, Chairman of the WRU said today:
“I am delighted that Prince William has agreed to become our Vice Royal Patron. Rugby truly is our national sport in Wales, and the Prince’s passion for and commitment to the game is well known. I saw his tremendous ambassadorial qualities first hand during the British and Irish Lions tour last summer and during his visit to Cardiff for the FA Cup Final in May. He has particular qualities when it comes to interacting with young people and I am sure he will prove inspirational in his new role within Welsh rugby. We’re all thrilled.”
Prince William will take up his new role at the beginning of the 2007 Six Nations Championship which begins in February next year. This will be the fourth public role which William has taken on, following his appointment as Patron of the homelessness charity Centrepoint, Patron of the conservation charity The Tusk Trust and President of the Football Association.
Prince William said today:
“I am honoured to be able to take on this role as Vice Royal Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union. Rugby is such a central part of Welsh life, and I hope to be able to contribute in some way to the development of the sport both at the community level and on the international stage. I am also looking forward to renewing my friendships with all the Welsh players whom I met on the Lions tour to New Zealand.”