Mike Tindall Couldn't Make Fun of Kate Middleton's Rugby Skills Because She Was Too Good at It

Awkward for him!

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge runs with the ball as she takes part in the England's rugby teams training sessions at the Twickenham Stadium, in London
(Image credit: Getty/JUSTIN TALLIS)

Kate Middleton once again demonstrated her athletic prowess on the rugby pitch recently, after announcing her new role as patron of the Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union.

Photos showed the duchess looking totally in her element alongside pro rugby players, and it was clear even to the untrained eye that she has a natural ability for the sport.

Former rugby pro Mike Tindall—who is married to Prince William's cousin Zara Tindall—weighed in on the Duchess of Cambridge's performance during an episode of The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast, which he co-hosts with Alex Payne and James Haskell.

"She looks a more natural rugby player than both of you put together," Payne told the two others (via People).

Tindall was forced to admit that Payne was right about that. "I text Ellis [Genge, an English rugby union player] and said, 'Mate, please tell me anything she messed up on,' so I could sort of… family WhatsApp group, get to her," Tindall eplained. "And he said, 'No, she was actually pretty good, and she was really good at kicking,' and I was like [sigh]. But she has this competitive nature."

Haskell was equally impressed with the duchess. "When she was announced, I thought amazing because we know she obviously likes her rugby," he said. "But the way she caught the ball, the way she jumped in the line-out, the little outside break, she was utterly fantastic, she was really, really, really good. And so I was like amazing, and dual sport, what an amazing ambassador."

Commenting on the duchess' skills during a line-out play, a rugby move that sounds frankly dangerous, Tindall added, "Just imagine, anyone who's ever tried it, getting thrown up in the line-out if you've never done it before is not easy because normally, you'll kick the prop in either the nuts or the face as he's lifting you, and she just looked effortless."

That's Kate Middleton for you!

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.