Rugby Chants

Rugby chants are the heart and soul of the game, uniting fans in their shared passion for the sport and adding a unique energy to every match. From historic anthems to humorous tributes to legendary players, these chants create an unforgettable atmosphere that draws people together and keeps them coming back for more.

In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about rugby chants, including their origins, popular examples, and etiquette, as well as tips for creating your own. So, whether you’re a seasoned rugby fan or new to the sport, get ready to raise your voice and join in the chants.


There’s something uniquely exhilarating about attending a live rugby match. The energy is infectious, and nothing captures the spirit of the game quite like the passionate singing of rugby chants. In this article, we’ll dive deep into everything you need to know about rugby chants, from their history and significance to popular examples and tips for creating your own.

The History of Rugby Chants


Rugby chants date back to the early days of the sport itself. They originated in the British Isles, where fans would use rhymes and songs to cheer on their favorite teams. Over time, these early chants evolved into the catchy, memorable tunes we hear today.


As rugby gained popularity around the world, fans from different cultures and backgrounds added their unique twists to the chants. Today, rugby chants can be heard in countries like New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, with each region boasting its own distinctive style.

Types of Rugby Chants

Team Specific Chants

Some rugby chants are created specifically for a particular team. These chants often include references to the team’s history, players, or unique characteristics, and are a way for fans to show their loyalty and support.

General Rugby Chants

In addition to team-specific chants, there are also more general rugby chants that fans of any team can enjoy. These chants typically celebrate the sport itself and are a great way for fans to bond over their shared love of rugby.

Why Rugby Chants Are Important

Building Team Spirit

Rugby chants play a crucial role in building team spirit. As fans sing together, they create a sense of unity and camaraderie that can help inspire their team to victory.

Engaging the Crowd

Chants are also an effective way to engage the crowd and keep them entertained throughout the match. A lively, energetic atmosphere can make the game even more enjoyable for both players and spectators alike.

Adding Color to the Game

Finally, rugby chants add color and excitement to the game. They provide a soundtrack to the on-field action and create memorable moments that fans will remember long after the match has ended.

There are countless rugby chants out there, but some have stood the test of time and become fan favorites. Here are a few examples:

  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: This spiritual song has become the unofficial anthem of English rugby and is sung passionately by fans during matches.
  • Ireland’s Call: This powerful anthem is used to unite fans of the Irish rugby team, regardless of which part of the island they hail from.
  • Cwm Rhondda: Known as “Bread of Heaven,” this Welsh hymn is sung with gusto by fans of the Welsh rugby team.

Rugby Chants

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

The unofficial anthem of English rugby, this spiritual song is sung passionately by fans during matches.

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Coming for to carry me home,

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Coming for to carry me home.

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see,

Coming for to carry me home,

A band of angels coming after me,

Coming for to carry me home.

(Repeat chorus)

Ireland’s Call

A powerful anthem used to unite fans of the Irish rugby team, regardless of which part of the island they hail from.

Come the day and come the hour,

Come the power and the glory,

We have come to answer our country’s call,

From the four proud provinces of Ireland.

Ireland, Ireland,

Together standing tall,

Shoulder to shoulder,

We’ll answer Ireland’s call.

Cwm Rhondda (Bread of Heaven)

This Welsh hymn, also known as “Bread of Heaven,” is sung with gusto by fans of the Welsh rugby team.

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,

Pilgrim through this barren land;

I am weak, but thou art mighty;

Hold me with thy powerful hand:

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,

Feed me till I want no more,

Feed me till I want no more.

Flower of Scotland

This patriotic song serves as the anthem for the Scottish rugby team and is sung by supporters at matches.

O Flower of Scotland,

When will we see your like again,

That fought and died for,

Your wee bit hill and glen,

And stood against him,

Proud Edward’s army,

And sent him homeward,

Tae think again.

Waltzing O’Driscoll

A humorous chant sung by Irish rugby fans in honor of legendary player Brian O’Driscoll, sung to the tune of “Waltzing Matilda.”

(To the tune of “Waltzing Matilda”)

Once a jolly rugby player, Played for Ireland in green and gold, And he smiled as he watched the opposition, You’ll come a-waltzing O’Driscoll with me.

Waltzing O’Driscoll, waltzing O’Driscoll, You’ll come a-waltzing O’Driscoll with me, And he smiled as he watched the opposition, You’ll come a-waltzing O’Driscoll with me.


While not a chant in the traditional sense, the Haka is a traditional Māori dance performed by the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team before each match, which has become iconic worldwide.

Allez Les Bleus

A simple yet effective chant used by French rugby fans to show their support for the national team, which translates to “Go Blues.”

Allez, allez, allez,

Allez les Bleus,

Allez, allez, allez,

Allez les Bleus.

(This chant is simple and repetitive, encouraging fans to sing along and cheer for the French rugby team.)

Ole, Ole, Ole

A chant used by fans of various sports, including rugby, with the crowd often adapting the lyrics to include their team’s name.

Fields of Athenry

An Irish folk song often sung by fans of the Irish rugby team during matches, telling the story of a man who has been sentenced to transportation to Australia during the Great Irish Famine.

By a lonely prison wall,

I heard a young girl calling, “Michael, they have taken you away,

For you stole Trevelyan’s corn,

So the young might see the morn,

Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.

“Low lie the fields of Athenry,

Where once we watched the small free birds fly,

Our love was on the wing,

We had dreams and songs to sing,

It’s so lonely ’round the fields of Athenry.

Stand Up for the Saracens

A team-specific chant for the English rugby club Saracens, sung to the tune of “Stand Up for the Ulstermen.”

(To the tune of “Stand Up for the Ulstermen”)

Stand up, stand up,

Stand up for the Saracens,

Stand up, stand up,

Stand up for the Saracens.

This chant is a team-specific one, with fans standing up and singing to show their support for the Saracens rugby club.

Creating Your Own Rugby Chants

Feeling inspired to create your own rugby chant? Here are some tips for writing engaging chants:

  1. Keep it simple: The best rugby chants are easy to remember and sing along to. Stick to simple melodies and straightforward lyrics that fans can quickly learn and join in on.
  2. Incorporate team spirit: Highlight your team’s unique characteristics, history, or players in your chant to make it truly special and specific to your team.
  3. Make it catchy: A memorable rugby chant will have a catchy tune or rhythm that fans can’t help but sing along to. Experiment with different melodies and rhythms to find the perfect combination.
  4. Be inclusive: Rugby chants are meant to bring fans together, so try to create a chant that appeals to a wide range of supporters. Avoid offensive or derogatory language that could alienate fans.
  5. Have fun: Finally, don’t forget to have fun while creating your rugby chant! The best chants are those that capture the excitement and passion of the sport.

Rugby Chant Etiquette

While rugby chants are all about having fun and supporting your team, it’s essential to follow some basic etiquette to ensure everyone enjoys the game. Here are some dos and don’ts:


  • Do participate and join in on the chanting if you know the words.
  • Do respect other fans, even those supporting the opposing team.
  • Do keep the language and content of your chants family-friendly.


  • Don’t use offensive or derogatory language in your chants.
  • Don’t disrupt other fans’ enjoyment of the game by being overly loud or obnoxious.
  • Don’t engage in aggressive or violent behavior.

The Role of the Rugby Chant Leader

In many cases, rugby chants are led by a dedicated chant leader or a group of enthusiastic fans. These individuals help to keep the energy high and encourage others to join in on the fun. They may also introduce new chants and keep the crowd engaged throughout the match.


Rugby chants are an essential part of the sport’s culture and have a significant impact on the overall atmosphere and enjoyment of the game. By understanding the history, importance, and etiquette of rugby chants, as well as learning popular examples and creating your own, you’ll be well on your way to fully embracing the rugby experience. So, the next time you attend a match, don’t hesitate to join in and sing your heart out!

Rugby Chants Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of rugby chants?

Rugby chants serve to unite fans, build team spirit, engage the crowd, and add color and excitement to the game.

Where did rugby chants originate?

Rugby chants originated in the British Isles and have since spread to countries around the world, each adding their unique twists.

Can I create my own rugby chant?

Absolutely! Just follow our tips for creating engaging chants and have fun with the process.

What is the role of a rugby chant leader?

A rugby chant leader helps to maintain the energy and excitement in the crowd by leading chants and encouraging others to join in.

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