Prince Harry has spoken out about the pressures of having to "grin and bear it" ahead of launching a mental health charter for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

The groundbreaking initiative was detailed by The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, ahead of the draw being announced at Buckingham Palace.

The event could be Prince Harry's last as a full-time working royal as the family is expected to announce the new arrangements for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the coming days.

Harry and Meghan last week sent shockwaves through Buckingham Palace with their decision to quit royal life.


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Prince Harry has long-championed mental health, along with his brother Prince William. The charter will come into effect when the tournament gets underway in England in October, 2021 and will put a focus on the mental health of players, fans, coaches and communities.

In a three minute video which included several young players talking about the toll of mental health, Harry spoke about how important it was to remove the stigma surrounding the issue.

"Rugby league isn't just a sport, it's a community. And one that takes care of its own," he said.

"For many years, it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mindset for everyone involved in the sport.

"So, I am proud to support the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter."

The charter won't just be for players and coaches, it will also be open to the communities who will host games throughout the tournament.

"This is the first time that a major international sporting event has a central charter for focusing on the mental fitness of players, coaches, fans and communities hosting the matches.


"This charter will build on the brilliant work already happening in rugby league by committing to training and educating all those involved in the tournament, and the wider Rugby League family, not only in how they can look after their own mental fitness but also support others to do the same.

"This includes delivering mental fitness workshops to eight thousand young rugby league players and their families, and training grassroots coaches.

"And to ensure the message is passed on internationally, all 21 participating nations will be encouraged to take their experiences back home and develop mental fitness awareness programs within their own communities.

"The perception of rugby league is that you need to be tough, you can't show your feelings, you have to grin and bear it.

"But something like the Mental Fitness Charter will help us make real progress in getting rid of the stigma associated with mental illness and remind people that it's not just about being physically fit but more importantly mentally strong. Thank you."

Rugby League World Cup draw

Men's draw

Group A:

England, Samoa, France, Greece

Group B: Australia, Fiji, Scotland, Italy

Group C: New Zealand, Lebanon, Jamaica, Ireland

Group D: Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Wales, Cook Islands

Women's draw
Group A: England, Papua New Guinea, Canada, Brazil

Group B: Australia, New Zealand, France, Cook Islands

Wheelchair draw
Group A: England, Australia, Spain, Norway

Group B: France, Wales, Scotland, USA