Prince William calls England squad ahead of World Cup semi

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, visits the England Women Senior Team at The National Football Centre in May
The Duke of Cambridge visited the England team in May ahead of the tournament in Canada
Women's World Cup semi-final: Japan v England
Venue: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Canada Date: Thursday, 2 July Kick-off: 00:00 BST Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website
Repeat: Available on the iPlayer and Red Button from 08:00 BST

The England squad have received a surprise phone call from the Duke of Cambridge ahead of their Women's World Cup semi-final with Japan.

Prince William spoke to the squad ahead of their morning tactics meeting on Wednesday.

The Duke told the squad: "Many, many congratulations to you all for what you have achieved so far and best of luck for today's match.

"Everyone is following your progress and you are making the country proud."

The Duke, who is president of the Football Association, added: "There is a fantastic buzz around the country. You are a true inspiration to all football fans, boys and girls, back home.

"Japan will be a tough team to beat but you are proving you are one of the best teams in the world and really making history.

"Enjoy the game. We all have every faith in you and thank you for giving us all another excuse to stay up late and watch more football! Best of luck. Go get 'em."

Mark Sampson's squad are only the third England team to reach a World Cup semi-final, after the 1990 men's side and the 1966 World Cup winners.

England will be the underdogs against Japan, who are the reigning champions.

There will be live coverage on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website from 23:10 BST on Wednesday.

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