Jones backs 'God Save the Queen'

Eddie Jones (Gallo Images)
Eddie Jones (Gallo Images)

London - The first foreign coach of the England rugby union team said on Wednesday he had no problems with national sporting sides singing 'God Save the Queen', rather than a specifically English anthem.

England teams currently sing 'God Save the Queen', which is the anthem for the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland.

But Labour MP Toby Perkins wants England to have its own sporting anthem, in line with Wales and Scotland, and put his case on the floor of the House of Commons.

"It has often seemed incongruous to me that when England has played against other home nations on the football or rugby field that, while the Welsh or Scots sing an anthem that reflects their nation's identity, England should sing about Britain," Perkins said.

The hymn 'Jerusalem', derived from a poem by William Blake published in 1808, which is sung before some England home cricket matches, has been suggested as an alternative.

Other options could include 'Land of Hope and Glory' and 'There'll Always Be an England'.

When the question of anthem choice was put to Australian Eddie Jones, the new coach of the England rugby union team, as he unveiled his first squad at Twickenham on Wednesday, he replied with a grin: "I've been learning the words, so I hope they don't change it!"

Jones's defence coach Paul Gustard, who is English, said: "I couldn't answer for anybody else, of course. It's going to be taken out of our hands for sure, so what will be, will be. Eddie likes Oasis, though."

Welsh sports teams sing the Welsh-language hymn 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau' ('Land of My Fathers'), while Scottish teams sing 'Flower of Scotland'.

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