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Why are kids singing the national anthems at the Rugby World Cup? Officials prepared to stand by decision despite criticism


The opening to the Rugby World Cup in France has been brilliant, with the world’s top sides putting on a show already.

However, despite all the great action on the field, fans and viewers aren’t happy with the national anthems and the way they are being delivered.

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England produced a brilliant display to beat Argentina in their opening game, but the anthems before were disappointingCredit: Getty

The national anthems of each nation have been pre-recorded by choirs of kids and played out before kick-off.

This has thrown off many players and has led to fans suggesting the recordings have drained the atmosphere.

Why are kids singing the national anthems?

Ahead of the tournament, Rugby World Cup chiefs asked various choirs made up of kids from diverse backgrounds to record versions of the national anthems.

In theory, this is a lovely idea, and the organisers probably believed it would elevate the atmosphere.

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But it hasn’t worked out like that, and the move has thrown players off and annoyed supporters.

The Italian national anthem, 'Il Canto degli Italiani', is one of the most passionate in the world

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The Italian national anthem, ‘Il Canto degli Italiani’, is one of the most passionate in the world

Before England’s win over Argentina, Steve Borthwick’s men struggled to sing along to ‘God Save The King’ because of the pre-recorded version putting them off and being out of sync, and it also happened to France, Ireland and Scotland.

But using pre-recorded national anthems also breaks that connection between the crowd and the team.

At an international rugby union match, one of the most important moments is when spectators and players sing the national anthem in unison.

Former Irish star Brian O’Driscoll emphasised that point and didn’t hold back in his assessment.

Speaking to the Off The Ball podcast, he said: “The anthems have been terrible!

O'Driscoll wants to see changes

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O’Driscoll wants to see changesCredit: Getty

“The two big anthems if we are honest are La Marseillaise and the Italian national anthem.

“Both of them feel like they’ve been butchered! There is no opportunity for everyone to get in behind it.”

In response to this, there have been claims from France suggesting that the World Cup chiefs are going to make changes ahead of the second round of pool stage games.

However, the Daily Mail state there are no such plans and things will continue as they are.

But if fans and players continue to complain, it will most likely be a matter of time until something changes.

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