Westenra the voice of Rugby World Cup (for England)

By Hayden Donnell

Hayley Westenra. Photo / Getty Images
Hayley Westenra. Photo / Getty Images

Kiwi songstress Hayley Westenra has lent her voice to the English for the Rugby World Cup.

The best selling soprano has been pictured amid a scrum of English rugby players to mark broadcaster ITV naming her its 'voice of the tournament' for British audiences.

Her version of the iconic International Rugby Board-commissioned song World in Union will accompany games broadcast by the company.

The move echoes that of another famous Kiwi soprano, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who performed World In Union at the opening ceremony at the 1991 Rugby World Cup in England.

Dame Kiri has previously taken shots at Westenra, whose popular operatic style has propelled her to the top of the charts here and overseas.

In 2008, she was reported as saying: "Have you heard Hayley? She's not in my world, she's never been in it at all."

Westenra has previously sung the national anthem at the start of All Blacks test matches.

- Herald Online staff

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