Wales bans singing of ‘Delilah’ during Six Nations

Wales bans singing of ‘Delilah’ during Six Nations

Choirs at the Principality Stadium will no longer be able to sing “Delilah”, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has announced.

The Tom Jones song, which peaked at second spot in the British charts in 1968, is a popular crowd standard at Wales games but will not be played or sung when the Six Nations begins in Cardiff on Saturday.

The lyrics, penned by songwriter Barry Mason, describe the murder of a woman by her boyfriend after seeing her with another man.

The ban comes after allegations were made in a BBC documentary last week of a “toxic” culture at the WRU that included sexism, racism and homophobia.

“Delilah will not feature on the playlist for choirs for rugby internationals at Principality Stadium,” a Principality Stadium statement said.

“The WRU removed the song from its half-time entertainment and music play list during international matches in 2015. Guest choirs have also more recently been requested not to feature the song during their pre-match performances and throughout games.

“The WRU condemns domestic violence of any kind. We have previously sought advice from subject matter experts on the issue of censoring the song and we are respectfully aware that it is problematic and upsetting to some supporters because of its subject matter.”

After announcing that the allegations would be investigated, Steve Phillips resigned as WRU chief executive on Sunday, with Nigel Walker named as acting CEO.

The allegations included the story of Charlotte Wathan, a former general manager of women’s rugby for the union, who alleged that a male colleague had said that he wanted to rape her in the presence of other staff.

With Sport Wales guidance, an independent taskforce will be set up to tackle the allegations.

Speaking alongside WRU chair Ieuan Evans on Monday, Walker warned that “the future of Welsh rugby is in danger” if governance is not addressed.

“If we are not prepared to change, the future of Welsh rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union is in danger,” the former Welsh wing and Olympic hurdler said.

“I can’t put it any more bluntly than that. We’ve accepted we need change and we want to get to that change programme as quickly as possible.”

Warren Gatland’s Wales will host Ireland in their opening Six Nations fixture on Saturday afternoon.