Framlingham soprano and Prince Harry kick off Rugby World Cup

Laura Wright performs during the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium

Laura Wright performs during the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. David Davies/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Suffolk soprano Laura Wright helped to open the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham tonight.

The Framlingham star donned a long white dress as she performed at the opening ceremony ahead of England’s match against Fiji. She sang The World in Union.

It may have had a fraction of the budget of the London 2012 Olympics, but the short service included a mix of music, celebrity, fireworks and lights to provide a memorable start to the tournament.

The ceremony, put together at a cost of around £1million – the Olympics’ was £27million – aimed to show rugby’s journey from its beginnings in 1823 to the present day.

Prince Harry, the honorary president of England 2015 and is the sport’s most famous fan, also spoke at the ceremony.

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He said: “There will be moments in this World Cup which will live with us for the rest of our lives. Who could forget 1995 and President Mandela handing The Webb Ellis Cup to Francois Pienaar, or that drop-kick in 2003.”

The prince also emphasised the code of conduct that rugby treasures so highly.

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“I can think of no other sport where the success of the team is shouldered so equally by everyone,” he said.

“Rugby has changed dramatically in my lifetime. But it remains a game founded on a code of values. Values which are as important today, both on and off the field of play, as they have ever been.”

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