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Game of catch ends in pain for wincing William

Prince William found himself nursing a delicate injury after playing catch with a group of rugby-mad youngsters while on tour in New Zealand.

William gave an audible yelp and winced as a ball thrown by a schoolboy from Pakuranga club in Auckland hit him between the legs.

The prince, who is a long-time rugby fan, had been showing off his handling skills with the group of under-10s before the incident.

The 27-year-old joined the youngsters on the pitch of Auckland's Eden Park stadium, which is undergoing a £110m (€124m) revamp. However, the prince showed no ill effects from the mistimed catch that left the schoolboys laughing.

The youngsters had been playing mini-rugby at the stadium which will be the key sporting venue for the 2011 Rugby World Cup being hosted by New Zealand.

Helping to take the youngsters through their paces was rugby star Ali Williams. The All Black joked: "The last time I met him (th prince) I told him he was losing his hair. This time I haven't done so because I'm in the same boat as him."

Irish Independent