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Prince Harry’s charities given advanced notice of his split from the palace to ensure their support

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Buckingham Palace contacted Prince Harry’s charities and organisations to allay fears that he would abandon them ahead of the shock announcement that he would be stepping back from Royal duties and relocating to Canada.

The Duke is patron of 16 organisations, including the Rugby Football Union, Rhino Conservation Botswana and the Invictus Games Foundation, but questions have been raised as to how he can continue to support them if he is no longer a working member of the Royal Family, or even in the country.

Yesterday, the RFU confirmed to the Telegraph that the Duke will continue to be their patron, as well as patron of the RFU Injured Players Foundation and the RFU All Schools Programme.

They could not confirm whether he would be in attendance at any of England’s Six Nations games next month. There is particular interest around the clash against Wales on March 7 because his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.

In previous years the pair have sat next to each other, often in opposing team colours, but with relations strained and the family split, it is unlikely they will both be at Twickenham, according to a source close to the WRU.



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World Cup

Beibhinn Parsons injects life into ‘composed’ Ireland’s World Cup dream

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Ireland captain Ciara Griffin said a much-improved defensive showing was the key to her side’s victory over Italy in this Rugby World Cup qualifier at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma yesterday.

Following a shock defeat to Spain last Monday, Ireland were desperately seeking a win to keep themselves in the reckoning for next year’s delayed finals in New Zealand. While tries from Beibhinn Parsons and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe may have lain the foundation for victory on the scoreboard, Griffin insisted their work out of possession was every bit as important.

“We did a lot of work this week in terms of defence with Kieran [Hallett, Ireland defence coach]. As a group we’re composed in our defensive structure, there’s a lot of organisation there,” the Kerry native explained.

“To be honest, it’s just fulfilling our defensive system. You saw that today, it worked well. We were quite composed in our defensive line and in terms of working and disrupting rucks. Comparing last week to this week, we definitely fulfilled our defensive system better.”

Despite being second best in possession early on, Ireland subsequently established an attacking foothold that culminated in the opening score of the game on 29 minutes.

Following Nichola Fryday’s superb fetch off a Cliodhna Moloney lineout, half-backs Kathryn Dane and Stacey Flood combined to release Parsons for a smooth finish on the left-wing.

Remarkably, this was the Galway teenager’s seventh try in just 13 international appearances. She was to make a telling impact later in the contest, but not before the resolve of this Irish team was severely tested.

Having held firm under enormous pressure to lead 5-0 at the break, the visitors were reduced to 14 when Eimear Considine was sin-binned for a high tackle on Michela Sillari. Four minutes later, Sillari supplied the extras to a try from midfield partner Beatrice Rigoni to edge Italy into the lead.

Yet Rigoni was also yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on moments before Considine’s return and Ireland made their numerical advantage count. A routine Flood penalty had Ireland back in front, before a piece of magic from Parsons set the wheels in motion for a decisive Ireland score on 62 minutes.

The prodigious UCD student beat seven defenders off a lung-bursting run and when the ball was recycled out to the right-flank, Murphy Crowe was on hand to claim her third try in just two games against the Italians.

Flood’s bonus strike offered additional leeway and with experienced duo Lindsay Peat and Claire Molloy making impacts off the bench, Ireland remain in the frame for that World Cup spot ahead of next Saturday’s clash with Scotland in Parma.

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Irelnd beat Italy in World Cup qualifier

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Irelnd beat Italy 15-points-to-7 in their must-win Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifier in Parma this afternoon.

Beibhinn Parsons and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe scored the tries for Adam Griggs’ side with Stacey Flood kicking the conversion as well as a penalty.

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Ireland and Scotland back in the hunt for a place in New Zealand | Rugby World Cup 2021

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Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier day two: Ireland and Scotland back in the hunt for a place in New Zealand | Rugby World Cup 2021


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