Prince Harry is England rugby team’s `royal mascot’ for World Cup finals against S.AfricaNovember 14th, 2007 - 2:15 am ICT by admin
Harry has indeed been lucky for the team, having famously roared England to victory in the last World Cup final in Australia during his gap year in 2003.
On Saturday the rugby-mad Royal missed girlfriend Chelsy Davy’s birthday to watch England’s 14-9 heroic semi-final win over hosts France at the Stade de France.
Afterwards he went to the changing rooms to congratulate the players - telling them: “I haven’t been that excited since Sydney 2003.”
One replied: “Well make sure you’re here next week because you’re obviously our lucky mascot.”
Before the match Harry was presented with an England team shirt and instantly put it on. He even had his two protection officers wearing England shirts too, The Sun quoted a source, as saying.
The famous victory was itself a repeat of 2003, when England knocked out France in the semi-finals.
England now have the chance to be the first team to win back-to-back world titles next Saturday against South Africa, who beat Argentina last night.
The victory over France sparked huge celebrations with 40,000 England fans in Paris.
Supporters performed congas down the Champs Elysees as the capital echoed with renditions of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
Giant screens had been set up across the country for anticipated street parties and a record 18.3 million French viewers tuned in.
In Britain, 12.4 million watched the match’s nerve-shredding climax on ITV1 - 51 per cent of the total telly audience. A spokesman said the figure even beat FA Cup Final audiences.
“This is a proud day for the country and I wish the team the best of luck for the final,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.
Tory leader David Cameron said: “The England rugby team have made the country enormously proud.”
Culture Secretary James Purnell - among the 80,000 crowd at the Stade de France - said: “England defended brilliantly.”
All final tickets have sold out through official channels, so fans have to turn to online auction sites and touts.
Pairs with a face value of less than 500 pounds were being offered for 9,999 pounds - with flights thrown in.
Paris tourism chiefs said nearly all their 45,000 hotel rooms are already taken for next weekend. (ANI)
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