Rugby World Cup organisers are slammed over 'awful' national anthems

Rugby World Cup organisers are slammed over ‘awful’ national anthems ahead of France and New Zealand’s curtain-raiser – with supporters insisting both were ‘butchered’ after choir was chosen to perform

  • Fans voiced annoyance at France and New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup anthems 
  • They criticised the use of choirs, claiming the songs had been ‘butchered’ 
  • France vs New Zealand LIVE: follow our live coverage of the World Cup opener
  • Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results

Fans were disgruntled with how the national anthems were performed in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup curtain-raiser between France and New Zealand – with some claiming they were ‘butchered’. 

Supporters criticised the use of a choir and complained that the music sounded out of time at parts. The dominating sound was that of the choir singers.  

Some of the most raw sporting moments stem from players and fans belting out their national songs but social media posters felt that the singers detracted from this. 

‘What has happened?! Atmosphere at Stade de France is silent. Anthems being butchered…. Horrific start to the competition,’ wrote a prominent rugby account on X, formerly Twitter. 

Another stated: ‘This choir for the national anthems is an awful idea.’ 

France’s players gathered for the national anthem – but the dominating sound was of the choir singing La Marseillaise 

Fans were unhappy with how the national anthems were performed by choirs 

One user extended their critique to the opening ceremony and ITV’s build-up coverage: ‘So far: terrible opening ceremony, pointless studio coverage, no build up to the game with the atmosphere, and absolutely awful anthems to what could have been AMAZING’.

‘What was with the anthems. They were terrible,’ one blunt user wrote, as anoither chimed: ‘They have butchered the anthems’.   

The anthems followed a boisterous and quaint opening ceremony showcasing French culture, complete with singing, dancing, and an enormous Eiffel Tower model in the middle of the Stade de France. 

Emmanuel Macron stood to give a rousing speech but was initially booed loudly by those assembled in the ground, before chants of ‘Allez les Bleus’ rang out. 

France are hosting the Rugby World Cup for the first time since 2007 and the final will take place back where it has started in the suburbs of Paris. 

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