10 September 2011

World in Union

The 2011 Rugby World Cup began on 9 September 2011 with the New Zealand All Blacks defeating Tonga 41-10. Every four years, the competition begins with the rugby union anthem World in Union. This was first heard in 1991 at Twickenham sung by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. This year, it was sung by New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra. It is probably the best sporting anthem of all time. Of course the tune would be familiar to most people from the Thaxted melody of Gustav Holst's The Planets (Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity) and also in the hymn I Vow to Thee, My Country.

British ITV's introduction to their rugby coverage makes best use of Hayley Westenra's rendition of World in Union

The 2007 All Stars recording for the RWC in France was also well done

I Vow to Thee, My Country

Holst The Planets - Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity

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