Prince Harry shares message for rugby fans ahead of World Cup

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Prince Harry shared a message for rugby fans ahead of the Rugby World Cup which kicks off in Twickenham Stadium next week. Praising the All Schools programme, which has introduced rugby to 400 state secondary schools, the 30-year-old revealed why he was particularly excited about the potential power of the game.

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Prince Harry shared a message for rugby fans

"It's no secret that I love top flight rugby," he said in a short video. "But I'm also a passionate supporter of how powerful the grassroots game is in helping to improve people's lives – the values it teaches, the enjoyment it brings and the unity it creates."

Harry admitted that he felt the World Cup was a "once in a generation opportunity" to bring people together, generating more interest for the game in schools and uniting an increasing number of communities.

"With the Rugby World Cup just around the corner," he said. "This really is a once in a generation opportunity to deliver the greatest legacy for the game."

This year's event is particularly exciting for Harry, who has taken on the role as honorary president. Teaming up with rugby star Jonny Wilkinson in June to celebrate the 100-day countdown to the sporting event, Harry gave a rousing speech to the hundreds of fans who had assembled at Twickenham.

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Prince Harry and Jonny Wilkinson celebrated the 100-day countdown to the World Cup

"This is a very exciting day – just 100 days until the start of the Rugby World Cup," said Harry. "This tour will enable rugby fans from across the country to play their part in the build up to the tournament."

"Rugby is a game built on values – respect, pride, team work and discipline," he added. "As we have shown with the Olympic, Commonwealth and Invictus Games, we are a nation of great hosts; a nation that seizes the moment. The world will be expecting us to deliver and I know we won't disappoint."

Harry then spoke of how confident he is that the British public "will make every nation feel at home" and "will provide the best possible welcome to the 20 teams" and their fans coming to the UK.

The tournament will kick off on 18 September, when England competes against Fiji at Twickenham, and run until 31 October. A total of 48 matches will take place across the country.