The latest SA Rugby initiative to grow the game in South Africa, #LoveRugby, received a welcome boost with the confirmation of six new anthem singers for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland.
Four of the finalists of the recently completed and massively popular talent show on M-Net, The Voice South Africa, will perform the respective national anthems of South Africa and Ireland during the series to be played in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
The Voice SA, which unearthed a number of fresh faces in the music industry, was very successful on DStv and complements the #LoveRugby groundswell, which is also aimed at bringing new faces, voices and fans to play, support and love rugby.
The eventual winner, Richard Stirton, other popular finalists Lana Crowster, Vernon Barnard and Gavin Edwards, as well as young and upcoming Cape Town singer Nathan Hendricks will be assisted by Jamali’s Mariechan over the next three weeks at the Springbok Tests.Crowster will sing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica at DHL Newlands, Barnard will perform the anthem at Emirates Airline Park and Stirton will sign off the series with his performance at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Edwards, who worked with Irish rock star Brian McFadden in his career, will sing Ireland’s Call in Cape Town on 11 June, Mariechan will do so in Johannesburg on 18 June and Hendricks will perform the visitors’ anthem in PE on 25 June. SA Rugby’s CEO Jurie Roux said the talent show and the #LoveRugby campaign is a perfect fit.
“We have had many established artists and stars singing our anthems in the past and we are very proud of that,” said Roux.
“But we also want to bring in new faces, fans and talents into rugby with the #LoveRugby story and at the same time The Voice SA was doing something similar in the music industry. It made sense to combine the two.
“It is great to have a new generation of singers contributing to our test match experience and being given the opportunity to perform on a different stage. That said, we are pretty sure that they will be supported by the crowds in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, who will all be adding their voice to the effort.”