25 June 2020

We all miss rugby, says Harry in thank you message to sport’s community heroes

25 June 2020

The Duke of Sussex said he misses rugby as he joined famous faces from the sport to thank the community for pitching in to help during the coronavirus crisis.

Harry appeared in a video montage for England Rugby along with men’s captain Owen Farrell, former England star Jonny Wilkinson, coach Eddie Jones and women’s captain Sarah Hunter.

The duke, who has quit as a senior royal and is living in LA, delivered the opening comments, saying: “We all miss rugby.”

Farrell says “This pandemic might have paused the game”, with Harry, who is patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), adding “But it hasn’t taken away our spirit”.

Since the community game was suspended on March 20, rugby clubs have been helping with food deliveries to key workers and the vulnerable, raising money for charity, making calls to elderly members, and using their facilities for food banks.

England Rugby’s Instagram post read: “When the game was paused, the rugby family came together as one. Thank you from all of us at England Rugby.”

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney paid tribute to the clubs helping the vulnerable.

“We have all been inspired by the many stories across the game of the rugby family working together to support those who are the most vulnerable in their community – this encapsulates the unique spirit of rugby and reinforces that clubs across our community game are more than just rugby clubs in their local communities,” he said.

Plans to support the re-launch of the community game include a national week celebrating rugby.

The paused Six Nations Championship is due to restart in October, with the autumn internationals still scheduled for November.

Premiership Rugby is hoping to resume the 2019-20 campaign on August 15.

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