Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Singing of the Anthems #RugbyWorldCup #England #Wales

Tonight England host Wales at the home of English rugby, Twickenham.

It is a long and distinguished rivalry with the Welsh emerging victorious on 54 occasions to England's 55.

Before the match the national anthems will lift the rafters at Twickenham – God Save The Queen for England, Land Of My Fathers for Wales.

The singing of anthems at sporting fixtures dates back to 1905 – and it is surely no surprise that the Welsh were in on the act.

The first New Zealand rugby tour of Great Britain, 110 years ago, called in at Cardiff Arms Park. Before the match, the All Blacks performed their traditional Haka, their war cry or challenge to the opposition. The 47,000-strong crowd responded with Land of My Fathers - Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau – and a tradition was born.

To my mind (it's Adam blogging here) there is no finer spectacle in sporting ritual than the All Blacks in full spate performing the Maori Haka; by the same token there is no finer SOUND than the Welsh national anthem before a match. Here's the evidence from French TV in 2013…

Good luck England! Good luck Wales!

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