Our concert programme for this year is still under construction, but it will involve singing songs and national anthems of the countries competing in the Rugby World Cup. And several choir members have auditioned to participate in the performances of the national anthems at the beginning of the 8 games in Wellington. These performances are being organised by the New Zealand Choral Federation and are part of something called the Real New Zealand Festival (your lottery dollars at work). Here are some useful links:

In the download area there are 3 subdirectories with reasonably self-explanatory names: anthem pronunciation guidesanthem scores and anthems. (The organisation of the subdirectories changed in early September.) The anthems page has MP3 files of the anthems performed by the NZ Symphony Orchestra and a choir specially formed by NZCF.

The Real NZ Festival Anthems page has a page for each country with music (the same as on the NZCF site, as far as I know) and also a PDF of the words, which is quite handy for memorisation.

Incidentally the teams that will be playing in the 6 pool matches in Wellington are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga, USA and Wales.

Then there are 2 quarter-finals involving teams from Pool C (Australia, Ireland, Italy, Russia and USA) and Pool D (Fiji, Namibia, Samoa, South Africa and Wales). In my opinion, the most likely participants in the quarter-finals from Pool C are Australia and Ireland, and from Pool D they are South Africa plus one of Fiji, Samoa or Wales.

By my reckoning the teams in the cup that definitely won’t be playing in Wellington are England, Georgia, Japan and Romania. Italy is a long shot and Namibia and Russia are very unlikely.