Andy Farrell Shares His Opinion on England’s Anthem, Maro Itoje Won’t Sing it - Ruck

Andy Farrell Shares His Opinion on England’s Anthem, Maro Itoje Won’t Sing it

Andy Farrell, the Ireland head coach, has expressed a contrasting perspective on the contentious England rugby anthem “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

Maro Itoje, on the other hand, has revealed his decision to refrain from singing it, emphasising that he does not advocate for preventing fans from singing the anthem at Twickenham.

Recently, the RFU conducted an assessment of the song’s origins, recognising that many supporters were unaware of its historical ties to an American slave spiritual.

“I’m not going to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do but, personally, I won’t sing this song anymore,” he said when speaking with French newspaper L’Equipe..

“I sang it before when I was naive and didn’t know its origins but, knowing now the context in the creation of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, it’s not an anthem that I’m going to repeat anymore.”

It is believed the song was first sung at Twickenham when Martin “Chariots” Offiah featured at the 1987 Middlesex Sevens tournament. In 1988 it became popular among England supporters when Chris Oti scored a hat-trick against Ireland.

The song’s origins are rooted in US slavery, however, and it is believed to have been written by the American slave Wallace Willis around the 1860s.

Farrell said when he was England coach: “It was part of our identity, this is part of English rugby.

“You know, wherever you are around the world with England rugby, you would hear it and you feel like people of the

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Planet Rugby 4/10: “Barely saw him in an attacking sense. A few carries, one bad pass, one dropped ball – although that was George Ford’s fault – but not the form we’ve seen in the Premiership.”

RUCK 5/10: “Not what the Bath centre would have wanted upon his return from injury. The powerhouse came alive with some clattering hits, yet threw a wayward pass into touch at 76 minutes that summed up his afternoon. So much more was wanted from England fans, who were excited to see him comeback.”

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