Prince William, 40, hosted a meeting with Jacinda Ardern, 41, at Kensington Palace a little under 100 days before New Zealand hosted its first Women’s Rugby World Cup in October. During her visit to London, New Zealand’s Prime Minister gifted the Duke of Cambridge a Women’s Rugby World Cup jersey.
She also brought one of her favourite children’s books entitled ‘Tulip and Doug: A Spud-Tacular Friendship Story’ to be given to William’s children and a rugby ball for the family.
The Black Ferns will hope to emulate the success of the All Blacks, who won both tournaments hosted on Kiwi soil in 1987 and 2011, as they look to retain the title.
The women’s side defeated England’s Red Roses last time out 41-32 at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.
The Black Ferns also won five out of eight previous Women’s Rugby World Cups, compared to just three out of nine for the men’s team.
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As patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, Prince William will also be interested in the world’s number one side’s early fixtures as Wales women’s team have been drawn in the same group.
The Duke became patron of the WRU in 2016 but pulled on a scarlet jersey and cheered on the 15 men in red as he sat alongside Prince Harry, 37, for Wales’ 28-25 Rugby World Cup victory against England at Twickenham.
Speaking ahead of the clash, William said: “This will be one of the biggest clashes of the tournament and certainly of the group stages.
“Unfortunately, I will be watching you with my brother, so I will need a Wales win more than ever!”
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Wales women’s side, led by Siwan Lillicrap, currently sit as the ninth-best side in the world and will hope to kick on from their third-place finish in the Women’s Six Nations to advance to the main knockout phase for the first time since 1994.
Despite meeting with Ms Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister has said the antipodean nation will likely become a republic in her lifetime.
In an interview with the Guardian in 2018, Ms Ardern said: “When I have been asked for an opinion, I think within my lifetime I think it is a likelihood we will transition.
“It is not something this government is prioritising at all though.”