They're a big part of every match at the Rugby World Cup - the national anthems. Some countries have good anthems, others have great.

We list which are the best country tunes that will be played minutes before the action begins.

POOL A

Scotland – Flower of Scotland

The 'against Who?' shouting bit gets us every time. That and the use of bagpipes.

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Best line:

Tæ think again.

Ireland – Ireland's Call

It's a great little ditty and easily the most literal of the anthems – "Together standing tall, Shoulder to shoulder, We'll answer Ireland's call".
Best line: Ireland, Ireland

Russia - Gosudarstvennyy Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii (State Anthem of the Russian Federation)

Plenty of pomp and glory in this one. If you are really into it, then there's a 10 hour YouTube video version.
Best line: Slav'sya, strana! My gordimsya toboy! (Be glorious, country! We are proud of you).

Japan – Kimigayo (His Imperial Majesty's Reign)

Short and sweet. The lyrics could fit in a Tweet. 'May your reign Continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations, Until the pebbles Grow into boulders Lush with moss'. That's it.
Best line:Chiyo ni yachiyo ni (Continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations).

Samoa – 'O Le Fu'a o Le Sa'olotoga o Samoa' (The Banner of Freedom)

It's a lovely anthem. Maybe too lovely? Would it get you stirred up for an encounter? Not sure.
Best line: Samoa, tula'i ma sisi ia lau fu'a, lou pale lea! (Samoa, arise: your flag is waving, your crown!)

Scotland and Ireland advance to the quarters.

POOL B

New Zealand - God Defend New Zealand

It's fine.

Best line:

In the bonds of love we meet.

South Africa - National anthem of South Africa

A mix of five different languages and it works really well.
Best line: Waar die kranse antwoord gee (Where the echoing crags resound).

Italy – The Chant of the Italians

A touch military, but a happy and rousing number compared to the heavy lyrics. Players tend to sing it with gusto.
Best line: We are ready to die (x 4 in the chorus)

Canada – O Canada

You would swear this was written for Celine Dion. And when she does sing it, you are talking serious shivers down the spine.
Best line: True patriot love in all of us command

Namibia – Land of the Brave

Slow beginning, but don't let that fool you. It's got a cracking finale.
Best line: Glory to their bravery, whose blood waters our freedom.

Italy and Canada go to the quarters.

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POOL C

France - La Marseillaise

Gruesome lyrics, but the music makes for a terrific stadium filler with interesting, subtle changes of pace.

Best line:

Let us march. Let us march.

Tonga – Ko e fasi 'o e tu'i 'o e 'Otu Tonga (Song of the King of Tonga Islands)

Passionate, ending on quite a high note which would test a few voices. Then comes the Sipi Tau. Wow - great combination.
Best line: Mo e 'ofa ki Tonga (And the love to Tonga)

Argentina – National Anthem of Argentina

Perfunctory title at odds with a mysterious, swirling and challenging piece which encourages an emotional response, rather than demanding it. Very classy.
Best line: Hear the sound of broken chains

USA – The Star-Spangled Banner

It is almost hard to judge such a famous song associated with Superpower power. But it is certainly not the worst.
Best line: O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

England – God Save the Queen

Very Queen orientated, although the second verse actually ends with 'God save us all'. Shades of Owen Franks – strong but a bit slow.
Best line: God Save the Queen

France and Tonga move onto the next round.

POOL D

Wales – Land of my Fathers

Enters almost every tournament as the top seed. Powerful and moving with stunning climax, from a land full of choirs.

Best line:

Fire the fancy and quicken the blood.

Uruguay – Easterners, the Country or the Tomb.

Orchestral yet jaunty, with opportunities for shouting at the end. Longest anthem in the world. Short version is made for the big sporting occasion.
Best line: Freedom, Freedom, Easterners.

Fiji : God Bless Fiji – (Meda Dau Doka)

Has a sedate show tune feel to it so easy to sing. Understated power without a crescendo – perhaps perfect before kickoff.
Best line: A land of freedom, hope and glory to endure whatever befall.

Australia – Advance Australia Fair

Beat out Waltzing Matilda in a 1970s vote – possibly worth re-visiting.
Best line: For we are young and free

Georgia - Freedom

Operatic with a dramatic opening. Holds that level nicely without going over the top.
Best line: The motherland is my icon.

Wales and Uruguay advance. Australia don't advance.

Quarter-finals

The Italian team sing the national anthem ahead of a Six Nations test. Photo INPHO/Billy Stickland
The Italian team sing the national anthem ahead of a Six Nations test. Photo INPHO/Billy Stickland

France v Uruguay

- France march on into the semifinals.

Italy v Ireland

- Dov'è la Vittoria? Where is Victory? Right here. Italy beating Ireland.

Wales v Tonga

- We know it would be some sing-off between the fans but Wales just advance.

Scotland v Canada

- Thistle beats the maple leaf.

Semifinals

The Italian team sing the national anthem ahead of a Six Nations test. Photo INPHO/Billy Stickland
The Italian team sing the national anthem ahead of a Six Nations test. Photo INPHO/Billy Stickland

France v Italy

- I mean. Come on.


Wales v Scotland - Yep.

Final

The Italian team sing the national anthem ahead of a Six Nations test. Photo INPHO/Billy Stickland
The Italian team sing the national anthem ahead of a Six Nations test. Photo INPHO/Billy Stickland

France v Wales

- Two great anthems. One winner. Gwlad, gwlad!

Winner: WALES