x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Ban on bagpipes is leaving Scotland deflated at Rugby World Cup

Organisers have banned musical instruments at matches at the tournament, but Scotland have launched an appeal to get them reinstated for their match against England.

AUCKLAND // A ban on bagpipes at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand has knocked the wind out of the Scotland team.

The unique sound of the instrument is frequently heard before home matches at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, but it has been missing in New Zealand due to the tournament organisers' decision to ban musical instruments from all venues.

Scotland won their opening two matches in the homely surroundings of Invercargill, which had a large influx of Scottish settlers in the late 19th century, but the team said they had missed the traditional sound of the pipes.

"When you arrive at the ground and are warming up, you quite like to hear the sound of bagpipes," Duncan Hodge, the Scotland kicking coach, said today ahead of their Pool B clash with Argentina on Sunday.

"The guys would rather have bagpipes than not, put it that way.

"The Argentinians I'd imagine would have all kinds of support, so it would be nice to cancel that out with a few bagpipes."

Scottish newspaper the Daily Record quoted the Scottish government as saying they had written to organisers asking for the ban to be overturned in time for their final Pool B clash against their old rivals England on October 1.

Scottish supporters have also started a campaign on social media website Facebook to get the ban lifted with more than 600 members signed up.

However, it is not just the Scots who are having issues with the prohibited items list.

New Zealand police told Reuters today that one France fan had fallen foul of the rule on bringing animals into World Cup stadiums.

Releasing a cockerel inside venues before matches is a common sight in France but one supporter had his rooster taken from him by police as he tried to smuggle it into McLean Park before Sunday's victory over Canada in Napier.

Along with animals and musical instruments, organisers have also banned flags with poles longer than 80 centimetres, car parts and the vuvuzelas — the noisy plastic horns that droned ceaselessly during matches at the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa.