This afternoon, as part of a whirlwind tour of the country, HRH Prince William toured Eden Park, New Zealand's premier Rugby ground and venue for the Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) Final.
Prince William, who is in New Zealand for three days, indulged his passion for Rugby with a behind the scenes tour of the stadium, which is currently being redeveloped for RWC 2011.
The Prince was hosted by Prime Minister John Key, John Waller, chairman of the Eden Park Redevelopment Board and Auckland Mayor John Banks, as well as Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd (RNZ 2011) Chairman Jock Hobbs and CEO Martin Snedden.
The Prince was given an update on plans for Rugby World Cup and the new look stadium before Hobbs and Snedden presented him with his own RWC 2011 jersey.
"He is incredibly relaxed and personable," said Snedden. "He obviously understands the importance of Rugby to New Zealanders and our enthusiasm to hosting this Tournament.
He was very happy to receive the jersey and immediately put it on. Of course I couldn't resist the opportunity to personally welcome him and his brother Prince Harry back in 2011 to attend the Tournament. I think it is safe to say he is keen to return to watch some great Rugby."
Several All Blacks, including Richie McCaw, Ali Williams and Dan Carter, joined Prince William on his tour.
"It can't be easy being in the position he's in, but he handles himself amazingly well. Underneath all that stuff he has to deal with, he's just a genuine bloke you can have a yarn with," said McCaw.
The All Blacks were not the only players Prince William shared a joke or two with. He was later joined by a group from the Pakuranga Rugby Club Under-10s, who even got to share a few passes with him.
Following the tour of Eden Park, the Prince took the helm of America's Cup yacht NZL40 for a brief sail on Waitemata Harbour. Tomorrow he will open the new Supreme Court in Wellington, where he will formally represent the Queen for the first time.
- New Plymouth
- Palmerston North
- Team Bases
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