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Sophie Wessex has a near miss at hockey practice with England squad

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The Countess of Wessex was put through her paces as she took part in a hockey practise session with the men's England team on Thursday. Keen to show off her skills, Sophie joined the male players on the Astroturf – but unfortunately had a near miss when one of her balls veered off course.

The gracious royal clasped her hand to her mouth and looked horrified as the ball missed the goal and almost hit a group of photographers standing behind.

Luckily for Sophie the media laughed off the incident, and shared a few jokes with their royal subject.

sophie wessex1 © Photo: Rex

Sophie Wessex had a near miss when one of her balls veered off course

Sophie was visiting the team at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Buckinghamshire as patron of England Hockey. Prince Edward's wife has had the role since 2006, and was there to meet Royston Hoggarth, the new chair of England Hockey.

As she took part in the training session Sophie flaunted her hockey skills, showing just how fit she has kept aged 51.

sophie wessex2 © Photo: Rex

The Countess laughed off the incident with photographers

The former PR director swapped her usual business attire for more casual, sporting gear but looked just as stylish in a blazer, jeans and fluorescent yellow trainers. The Countess accessorised with a Rio Olympics pin.

Sophie's outing comes just a few weeks after she carried out an engagement with her whole family. While the Earl and Countess rarely involve their two young children in official duties, the couple were more than happy to take their son James and daughter Louise on the family-friendly engagement – a trip to the Bristol Zoo.

sophie wessex3 © Photo: Rex

Sophie was her usual stylish self in neon trainers

As the patron of the Bristol Zoological Society, Prince Edward was invited to open the new Mahali Pori exhibit.

Louise, 12, and James, eight, looked particularly excited about the outdoorsy activity and were pictured crouching down to feed some hungry lemurs and meerkats. As the animals scurried around them, the young royals giggled and handed out more food.