“We all miss rugby,” Harry, 35, said in a video shared by England Rugby on Wednesday, June 24.
The former military pilot lent his voice to the sport’s Pitch In campaign, which is focused on the rugby family working together to raise money for charity and pitch in with food deliveries and more to help the vulnerable populations. Harry filmed himself from across the pond, outside his California home, while other stars of the sport added in their faces to the cause.
The sport has suspended play since March amid the pandemic, but Harry noted that “it hasn’t taken away our spirit.”
The video goes on to show players from different clubs and fans coming together, playing on their own, training, giving to others and preparing for the day when everyone can reunite in a big sporting arena safely.
They also included additional footage of games from the past and moments with Harry — from his visits and youth rugby events to hanging out in the locker room with players over the years.
“#PitchIn,” the organization captioned their Instagram video post. “When the game was paused, the rugby family came together as one. Thank you from all of us at England Rugby 🌹.”
Along with the celebratory video, Rugby Football Union CEO Bill Sweeney released a statement commending everyone within the sporting community on their help during the quarantine.
“We have all been inspired by the many stories across the game of the rugby family working together to support those who are the most vulnerable in their community – this encapsulates the unique spirt of rugby and reinforces that clubs across our community game are more than just rugby clubs in their local communities,” he said in the statement on England Rugby’s website.
Sweeney added: “We are on top of this most challenging of times and I am confident that this spirit and resilience during this period will ensure we will come through this together and emerge stronger.”
Harry has a long history of supporting rugby, which he also played growing up. In January, he hosted the 2021 Rugby League World Cup draws for men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace in his first public appearance following his and wife Meghan Markle’s royal step back announcement.
A few months earlier, the royal attended the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Tokyo, Japan, in November. He cheered on England as they played South Africa, but his team ultimately lost.
“Tonight was not England’s night, but the whole nation is incredibly proud of what @EnglandRugby have achieved over the past few months,” Harry wrote via the Sussex Instagram account after the loss. “Hold your heads high boys, you did an outstanding job and we couldn’t have asked more from you.”
Since moving to L.A. with Markle, 38, and their son, Archie, 13 months, in March, Harry has kept his connections to his homeland intact. He has maintained relationships with several charities in the U.K. and on June 10, he showed his support for Invictus Games athletes on what would’ve been their 5th annual event.
“I hope that all the nations, competitors and family and friends are coping well to support each other during this time, and I know you’ll be showing that resilience that is so central to the Invictus community,” he said in a video message at the time, following the date change due to the pandemic. “I hope this conversation will be the first of many, and I am really looking forward to a time when we can come together again.”
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