Tuesday, 26 Sep 2023

Prince William cheers on Welsh team in Rugby World Cup after Lioness fallout

Prince William has joined the crowds to cheer on Wales as they face Fiji at the Rugby World Cup after backlash over his missing the Lionesses’ Women’s World Cup final.

William and Kate, Princess of Wales, are in France to support the home nations in their roles as royal patrons of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and Rugby Football Union respectively.

The Prince of Wales was greeted by Rugby World Cup director Gareth Davies, venue director Paul Couet-Lannes and WRU president Gerald Davies after arriving at Stade de Bordeaux for the big game.

He then met Fijian President Wiliame Katonivere before taking his seat.

READ MORE… Prince Harry left red-faced after dismally losing penalty shoot out live on TV

The prince commented on the warm weather in the French city, where temperatures have this weekend reached 36C, before chatting about the tournament which began on Friday with hosts France beating three-time champions New Zealand 27-13 in Paris.

William told Mr Davies: “I can’t believe another World Cup has come around again. It’s exciting when it all kicks off. There have been some good matches already. The France-New Zealand game was fantastic.”

The flying visit to south-west France came a day after the Princess of Wales watched England beat Argentina 27-10 in Marseille.

Wearing a dark blue suit with a red and white tie, the prince also expressed admiration for former Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones, Test rugby’s most-capped player.

Wyn Jones retired from international duty earlier this year and currently plays for French club Toulon.

William’s appearance in France comes after he faced criticism for not flying to Australia for the Lionesses’ historic match against Spain in the Women’s World Cup.

Instead, the prince recorded a video message with his daughter, Princess Charlotte, in which they both wished the team good luck. Spain’s Queen Letizia travelled Down Under for the final.

It is understood William decided not to go because of the distance he would have to travel for such a short period of time.

Women’s Equality Party leader Mandu Reid was among those who criticised the decision, writing on X, formerly known as Twitter: “For Prince William to shirk the World Cup final is the wrong move, deeply disappointing and calls into question how sincere he is when he proclaims his support for women’s sport”.

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