Rugby: Prince William presents Wales shirts

Britain’s Prince William presented Wales' players with their match shirts on Friday.YOUTUBE

LONDON (AFP) - There was a royal touch to Wales' preparations for their World Cup match against Australia when Britain's Prince William presented the players with their match shirts on Friday.

William, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and second in line to the British throne, is a vice-patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.

The Duke of Cambridge, as William is officially known, met the players at their Weybridge hotel, south-west of London, where Wales have been based ahead of their Pool A decider against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Welsh Rugby Union posted a group picture on Twitter of players with the Duke, who was flanked by forwards Paul James and Ross Moriarty.

"Huge honour for squad to receive their match jerseys from HRH The Duke of Cambridge this afternoon," read the WRU's accompanying tweet.

Both Wales and Australia have already qualified for the quarter-finals.

Whoever wins on Saturday, however, will top the Pool and face either Scotland or Japan in the last eight.

But for the losers a quarter-final with twice world champions South Africa, who have bounced back from a shock defeat by Japan in their tournament opener, awaits.

Earlier in this World Cup, Welsh pop singer Tom Jones presented the squad with their match shirts and the players also spent time with another famous Welshman in former undefeated boxing world champion Joe Calzaghe.

Prior to Wales' 'Pool of Death' match against England, William and younger brother Harry, who holds a similar position with the English Rugby Football Union, found themselves supporting opposing teams.

William ended up on the victorious side on that occasion as Wales won a thrilling match 28-25.

England subsequently lost 33-13 to Australia so Harry's team became the first World Cup hosts to be eliminated before the knockout stages.