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The Prince of Wales meets players from the Rugby World League Cup 2013

29th October 2013

The Prince of Wales, speaks with (from left to right) Australia's national rugby league team team manager Gareth Holmes, captain Cameron Smith and Andrew Hill from the Australian Rugby League Commission, during a reception for the Rugby League World Cup at Clarence House in London.

The Prince of Wales, speaks with (from left to right) Australia's national rugby league team team manager Gareth Holmes, captain Cameron Smith and Andrew Hill from the Australian Rugby League Commission, during a reception for the Rugby League World Cup at Clarence House in London.

The Prince of Wales met players and representatives from the 14 countries competing in this year's Rugby League World Cup.

Brian Barwick, chairman of the Rugby Football League, told His Royal Highness: "The critical thing for Rugby League is that it is being talked about."

Sam Burgess was among the stars who met The Prince at Clarence House.

Mr Burgess, who is originally from Yorkshire and enjoys a celebrity status in Australia, said: "People don't recognise me as much here as they do in Sydney, which is quite refreshing. I am enjoying being back in England and hearing the English accent."

Mr Burgess, who plays for England along with two of his brothers, said: "To stand and sing the national anthem arm in arm with my brothers was really special. It was a moment to remember and it made me very proud. England is home for me and that will always be the case."

Ben Flower, a rugby player for Wales, said he remains positive about Wales' chances in the world cup, which is being co-hosted by England and Wales, despite losing in their opening game to Italy. Mr Flowers said: "We will hopefully be moving on from last weekend. We have been doing video analysis about the different key areas we need to improve on. The match against the US will be a tough game. We want to win and we will do all we can."

Iestyn Harris, head coach for Wales, said: "Our priority is to win as many games as we can. We have a lot of work to do to get there. I want us to keep on improving so that by 2017 we have a bigger and stronger pool of players."

Andrew Henderson, who plays for Scotland, said he was excited about the match against Fiji. "We have prepared really well for the match. We had a warm up game against Papua New Guinea which we lost, but we drew important lessons from it and we got a feel of what to expect tonight."

Nigel Wood, the world cup tournament director, said: "Everything is going wonderfully so far. It has exceeded all expectations. We want to raise the profile of Rugby League in England and Wales. Hosting the world cup has done a tremendous amount of good for this and it is a tremendous privilege to host it."