Boks upset by off-key anthem

TOULOUSE - The reggae singer the Springboks accused of butchering the national anthem before the 20-13 Test match defeat to France says he thought he had "sung beautifully".

TOULOUSE - The reggae singer the Springboks accused of butchering the national anthem before the 20-13 Test match defeat to France says he thought he had "sung beautifully".

Ras Dumisani, sporting dreadlocks tucked into a huge red, green and white Rastafarian cap, was adamant that his performance - which made large parts of the Toulouse crowd burst into laughter - had been a good one.

"No one told me they were upset with the singing. In fact, someone just came up to me and told me how beautifully I had sung," said Dumisani, who is from Durban.

The anthem was sung before France's stirring Marseillaise and the singer, backed by two drummers of his Afrikhaya Band, made a mess of the multi-language homage to the Rainbow Nation.

At the anthem's conclusion, large parts of the crowd were openly laughing and several Bok players looked over angrily at the singer.

"I must convey we are annoyed that the French disrespected our anthem," blasted South Africa coach Peter de Villiers.

French team manager Jo Maso said the choice of singer at each game was made by the visiting team's diplomatic staff. - Sapa-AFP

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