Prince won't walk into Wattisham side

PRINCE Harry could be turning out for RAF Wattisham's rugby side if he continues his helicopter pilot training in Suffolk.

PRINCE Harry could be turning out for RAF Wattisham's rugby side if he continues his helicopter pilot training in Suffolk.

As vice-patron of England's Rugby Football Union the youngster may fancy a game but after talking to director of rugby at the air base, Matt Jackson, it's clear he would have to earn his place in the side.

“If he wants to get involved with the team then he would be more than welcome,” said Jackson, who set up the side in 2008. “But like everyone else he would have to warrant a place in the team.

“He would not be treated any differently just because of who he is and I think that's what he would want. But, of course, we would welcome him into the team.”

If Harry does decide to don his rugby boots then he could be playing in a team plying their trade in the Eastern Counties Leagues after Wattisham had their application to join the league “provisionally” accepted. Jackson's side have been impressing in Suffolk Division One but the 31-year-old believes the step up will be more of a challenge to his players.

“We're just waiting for the go-ahead from the chairman of competitions and we will be in. It's part of a five-year target that I set when the side was first set up with a view to getting up into the London leagues.

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“It'll be good for the players if we get in - I think they are good enough to cope with the step up.”

Being a service side obviously can have its drawbacks, admitted Jackson, but he is confident they can keep the spine of the side together.

“Each and every one of the players has got character and we've managed to get a core of around 11 or 12 players that have been able to turn out for us regularly.

“Obviously it can be more difficult with players being dispatched to Afghanistan but we've been able to cope.”

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