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With Kate Middleton tipped to replace Prince Harry as England rugby patron the Duchess of Cambridge is perfectly primed to silence her sexist trolls.
Kate, 39, is set to take on patronage of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Rugby Football League (RFL) after the Duke of Sussex gave up his role as a senior member of the Royal Family earlier this year and was stripped of his patronages by the Queen.
Keen rugby player and fan, Harry, had held the role for five years after taking over as patron from the Queen in 2016.
A royal insider reportedly said: “Kate would be the perfect choice.”
As well as recently supporting England’s football team in the Euros, Kate has previously cheered on games of rugby at Twickenham, reflecting her suitability for the role.
Kate attended the rugby World Cup, hosted by England, in 2015, and in 2017 she watched the France v Wales Six Nations match during an official visit to Paris with her husband Prince William, who is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.
But Kate has previously faced criticism from sexist trolls who think women don’t understand the rules of rugby.
On 18 March 2017, BBC presenter John Inverdale was blasted by angry viewers for implying that Kate didn’t understand the rules during the France v Wales game.
The 63-year-old broadcaster said to his co-host: "I don't know exactly how au fait with the rules Kate is, but I assume she must have been struggling a bit in the last 20 minutes."
He added: “And she wasn’t alone.”
Twitter users angrily condemned the comment, labelling Inverdale’s remarks as sexist and even suggesting that he should retire.
One Twitter user commented: “I’m amazed John Inverdale still has a job. Sexist to assume Kate Middleton doesn’t understand the rules of rugby.”
Another post said: “Why did John Inverdale just assume that Kate Middleton wouldn’t understand the rules of rugby? Another sexist gaff from him.”
A BBC spokesperson said at the time: "John was saying that many would have been bemused by the nature of the protracted end of the match."
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Inverdale was previously involved in a sexism scandal in 2013 after making comments about French tennis player Marion Bartoli’s appearance.
Kate is already royal patron of the All England Lawn and Tennis Croquet Club, the Lawn Tennis Association, SportAid and the 1851 Trust.
Taking on the rugby patronage alongside her existing royal responsibilities will give Kate the opportunity to show that she does understand the sport, and silence her naysayers for good.
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