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Princess Kate plays wheelchair rugby in Hull - best photos

The Princess of Wales is patron of Rugby Football League

Kate Middleton scores a conversion during wheelchair rugby
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: October 5, 2023
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The Princess of Wales showed off her sporty side as she played wheelchair rugby in Hull on Thursday, and impressed her coach as she scored a conversion!

Kate, 41, who is patron of the Rugby Football League, ditched her signature trouser suit for the league's navy training kit and a pair of white trainers. 

The royal mum took part in a Rugby League Inclusivity Day hosted by the Rugby Football League, Hull FC and the University Hull.

Kate Middleton plays wheelchair rugby© Getty
Kate was in her element

The Princess joined a training session with members of the World-Cup winning England Wheelchair Rugby League squad.

The team were crowned World Champions in November 2022, and in January, Kate hosted a reception for the team at Hampton Court Palace, where she spoke about her children's love of rugby.

Wheelchair Rugby League is currently the most inclusive format across Rugby League, providing the opportunity for all to play together regardless of gender or disability.

Kate raised her arms in celebration and laughed after she punted the rugby ball over the bar – a tricky feat for a novice – said Tom Coyd, coach of England’s World Cup-winning wheelchair rugby team.

WATCH: Princess Kate scores a conversion playing wheelchair rugby

Mr Coyd, said: "I think she’s been having secret practice sessions before coming here, because she’s a natural. She even finished a passing move with a try in the corner – she blew me away to be honest."

After the royal visit, he added: "It’s an amazing spectator sport, it covers all bases really, you’ve got the inclusivity, it’s the only sport in the world where at the top level you can have disabled and non-disabled players playing together.

"And Kate herself said the collisions that came through the TV, when they were watching it, was what hooked the kids in."

Kate Middleton playing wheelchair rugby© Getty
Kate takes a shot

Kate has been a huge rugby fan since her childhood, and last month attended an England Rugby World Cup match in Marseille, France. 

In a piece for Vanity Fair in 2014, the royal's younger sister, Pippa Middleton, wrote about her family's love for the sport: "Rugby was a big thing for our family, and the focal point was international matches, which were often played on Saturday afternoons and were as much social as sporting occasions.

Kate Middleton takes part in a wheelchair rugby© Getty
Kate sported a bandage on two

Kate sported a bandage on two of her fingers again, merely as a precaution after recently injuring herself on her children's trampoline.  

Kate Middleton receives England Wheelchair Rugby League shirts for Charlotte, Louis and George © Getty
Kate received shirts for her children

After the training session, Kate received personalised England Wheelchair Rugby League shirts for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. 

Kate Middleton's team talk before the game© Getty
A team talk before the game

During the visit, Kate also learned more about Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL), a full contact version of the game adapted for players with physical disabilities who want to access a running version of the sport, and Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL), a non-competitive version of the sport specifically adapted for those with learning disabilities.

Kate Middleton at Allam Sport Centre © Getty
Kate donned a Rugby Football League tracksuit

The royal took part in ball skills and drills with PDRL and LDRL players, alongside students from Hull FC's Centre of Excellence. 

The Hull FC Centre of Excellence provides a holistic, industry-specific programme for 16 to 18-year-olds who are interested in physical activity and working in sport, attracting and developing the best talent both locally and from further afield.

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