Prince Harry hits the rugby field in South Africa

Prince Harry had a ball in Durban on Tuesday (Dec. 1), kicking off his shoes to join a friendly game of barefoot touch rugby. Although he was on the losing team for the second time on his tour of Africa, having been defeated in the annual Sentebale Polo Cup tournament days earlier, he was in high spirits playing opposite former Springboks captain John Smit.

When asked if he had enjoyed the game, Harry replied, "Yes, but his lot were much better than my lot."


Prince Harry played a game of tag rugby in Durban

After pausing to have a good look inside the 'jaws' of the club's mascot Sharkie (real name August Phili), Harry, 31, got his own back by teasing 2007 World Cup winning hooker John Smit about South Africa's defeat to rugby minnows Japan in the England 2015 competition.


Former Saracens star John, now CEO of the Sharks, said, "As soon as I mentioned the World Cup he mentioned Japan, so we didn't talk about it anymore."

Describing the royal visit as a "privilege," he added, "To have him here, to see how humble he is, it's a big deal to have him here.

Harry was in high spirits despite being on the losing team.

"He comes across as such a good bloke. It's good for our kids, who come from some pretty rural areas with not much to their names to meet someone like him."

On the second day of his official visit to South Africa, Harry was visiting the "Shark Tank" to hear more about the South African Rugby and British High Commission Rugby Exchange Program, which gives opportunities to players and coaches from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience playing the sport in a different environment, climate and culture.

Each year, 12 under-21 players and two coaches from across South Africa are placed with clubs in Britain, including Saracens, Gloucester and Sale Sharks.

Prince Harry, who was the honorary president of England Rugby 2015, also heard how the Cell C Hotspots Program is helping to find talented players among younger children at a grassroots level.

Harry's visit to Durban will continue with a trip to the Surfers Not Street Children program, which also uses sport for social development.

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