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RFL tribute to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

Statement from Simon Johnson, RFL Chair:

On behalf of the Rugby League community, I extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen on the passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

We join the Royal Family in mourning the passing of The Duke and in reflecting with pride on his selfless service to the country.

The Queen is a former Patron of the sport and our most recent Patron, the Duke of Sussex, has lost his dear grandfather. We extend our deepest sympathies to him, too.

The Duke of Edinburgh attended the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley on five occasions, two of which were alongside Her Majesty.

When I commenced my role, I watched a Pathe film of HRH meeting the players in advance of the 1949 Challenge Cup Final between Bradford Northern and Halifax and later presenting the Cup to Bradford. It was remarkable to see, in black and white, how His Royal Highness fulfilled his duties with our great sport over the years.

As a sport, we will stand in tribute and in reflection at our Challenge Cup matches this weekend to mark the life of The Duke of Edinburgh, whose life was a model of dedication to public service.

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