Prince Harry has been “outstanding” for rugby league

The eyes of the world were on rugby league on Thursday, as Prince Harry undertook his first official engagement since “quitting” the Royal Family.

Patron of the RFL, HRH The Duke of Sussex helped conduct the draw alongside the head of UK Sport, Dame Katherine Grainger, and dual-code rugby international Jason Robinson OBE.

Whatever is going on in or around the Royal Family is not of rugby league’s concern, but they won’t complain about the press attention and exposure that the draw will have received off the back of it.

With wife Meghan Markle and son Archie in Canada, where the family are expected to settle full-time once the move has been ironed out, there could have been an awkward moment where he pulled Canada out of one of the pots – only for eagle-eyed organisers to make sure that this couldn’t happen; such foresight that in itself is remarkable in rugby league circles.

Cynics of patronage will point to the fact that Prince Harry is a patron of more than 20 other organisations, including the Rugby Football Union, its All Schools Programme and its Injured Players Foundation; the London Marathon and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

But in conducting the draw, and pledging his support to the Mental Fitness Charter that now underpins the tournament as a significant legacy project, he has more than delivered on his commitment to the sport.

RFL’s Performance Director, Kevin Sinfield, said: “The draw was fantastic in putting our sport in to the spotlight.

“I’d expect nothing less, his involvement has been outstanding. I’ve always found him to be engaging, enthusiastic and he has spent time with everybody. He’s got involved with on field stuff, especially with grass roots, he’s supportive of sport, he can see there’s great values there, he can see difference it makes in community.

“To have him there today, front and centre, is huge for all of us.”

Prince Harry’s first official engagement with rugby league came back in July 2017, when he attended a Sky Try Rugby League Festival at Headingley.

He attended a reception hosted by the England team prior to the 2017 World Cup, and even sent them a good-luck video message ahead of the final against Australia.

HRH was the chief guest at last year’s Challenge Cup final, presenting the trophy to Warrington captain Chris Hill.


  1. Sorry but “a success”, by what obscure perverse measuring scheme are you using, you highlighted his every encounter with Rugby League in 200 words or less. My cat has better links to Rugby League!

    Now he’s retired let’s get someone in who’s interested. How about someone who’s bought a ticket once or twice to attend matches. Johnny Vegas would be a step up, he can name the teams in the Super League, knows his team inside and out, even stepped on the pitch to play. I’d rather have someone interested and engaged with our sport.

    • Dear me, what a sad, sad individual you really must be Eric !! Wow Johnny Vegas, what a coup that would be.Are you anti=Royals ? Come on man this was great RL Public Relations, first official act after resigning the Monarchy and it is diectly associated with RL.More of Harry please, Eric go stroke your Pussy and get a life.

    • Eric you really must be a sad, sad little man. Need to see the big picture my boy….Who the f*** is Johnny Vegas. Long live Harry with RL. Perhaps you should go stroke your Pussy, Eric. Get out of the “bubble” and into the real world, there is never ever “bad publicity” and this is brilliant !

      • Yes, I am anti Royal. Never has one family done so little for so much. Harry Wales have is a staunch Union fan. There is a little history between them and us, you’re too thick to have missed that. Who is Johnny Vegas, he’s a Northern Comedian and ceramics expert with a strong let he of this sport, recognisable as a supporter of Rugby League. Unlike Mr Wales, who’s attended one match is however long. Whereas Mr Pennington has probably only missed a match when his commitments take him elsewhere, and I suspect he has his life organised around that problem. I’d rather see him, Lizzie Jones, or someone similar to Steve Prescott, maybe Mose Masoe, Rob Burrow, get the job, even one of the legion of little old ladies who have followed the game for years. You know, people who deserve it, rather than born into it by the pure random chance of the accident of birth.

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