Prince Harry makes Rugby League World Cup draw

Prince Harry watched children play rugby league at Buckingham Palace ahead of the World Cup draw
Prince Harry watched children play rugby league at Buckingham Palace ahead of the World Cup draw

England will face Samoa in the 2021 World Cup opener.

The host nation were drawn against Samoa by the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, in today's draw at Buckingham Palace.

They play their first match at Newcastle's St James' Park. France and Greece are also in England's pool for the 16-team tournament.

Former Wigan star Jason Robinson and Dame Katherine Grainger, an ex-Olympic rowing champion, also made the draw.

Group B: Australia, Fiji, Scotland, Italy.

Group C: NZ, Lebanon, Jamaica, Ireland.

Group D: Tonga, PNG, Wales, Cook Islands.

Meanwhile, The Duke of Sussex will be the face of a groundbreaking mental health awareness campaign launched by 2021 Rugby League World Cup organisers.

As part of a five-point mental fitness charter, organisers have committed to training every player, official, match official and volunteer to look after their own mental fitness by the final game of the tournament, which takes place in October and November in 2021.

Harry, the patron of the Rugby Football League who will host the World Cup draw at mid-day at Buckingham Palace, recorded a video message for the launch.

It will be the duke's first public engagement since announcing that he and his wife Meghan will be stepping back as senior royals.

"Rugby League isn't just a sport, it's a community," he said. "And one that takes care of its own.

"For many years, it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mindset for everyone involved in the sport.

"So, I am proud to support the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter.

"This Charter will build on the brilliant work already happening in rugby league by committing to training and educating all those involved in the tournament and the wider rugby league family, not only in how they can look after their own mental fitness but also support others to do the same."

World Cup chief executive Jon Dutton said: "At RLWC2021, we want to use the platform we have within sport to help highlight the importance of taking care of both your mental and physical health.

"We're certain of having world-class action on the pitch during the tournament and with millions of viewers tuned in from around the globe, our mental fitness campaign will create a lasting impact across the globe in helping rugby league communities get ahead of the game."