Scotland players want bagpipes

2015-09-18 19:21

London - Scotland's rugby stars said they will miss hearing the inspirational skirl of the bagpipes during the World Cup after tournament organisers banned musical instruments inside stadiums.

Speaking to reporters on Friday ahead of Scotland's opening match against Japan on September 23, the country's most-capped hooker Ross Ford called on organisers to exert some "common sense".

"It's our national instrument and our national sound. I think there has to be some form of common sense in play here. It's not a massive issue - it's bagpipes," said Ford.

"It's great to hear them at matches. When you are warming up and you hear them, it's a big boost to the players."

Tournament organisers have also banned large flags, oversized hats and other noisemakers such as the vuvuzelas - a plastic horn that was prominent during South Africa's football World Cup in 2010.

But for Scotland's talisman Stuart Hogg it is the familiar din of bagpipes he will be longing for. He said they helped urge on his team to a record 48-7 victory over Italy last month.

"Obviously, you love hearing the bagpipes being played and obviously it's a shame," said Hogg.

"I love playing in front of a passionate crowd and, for me, the best crowd I have been involved in was the Italian game just gone by at Murrayfield. It was a great atmosphere with the bagpipes playing."

The bagpipe, a musical instrument with reed pipes that are sounded by the pressure of wind emitted from a bag squeezed by the player's arm, has been played in Scotland since the 16th century.

While some say they conjur up patriotic images of kilted highlanders, critics compare the noise to that of a cat being strangled.

Fans will not be allowed to bring their own bagpipes into the ground, but World Rugby told The Telegraph newspaper that bagpipes will play a "prominent role at all Scotland matches."

Scotland kick off their campaign against Japan in Gloucester. They will also face United States, South Africa and Samoa in Pool B.

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