Will Carling called Laura Wright's national anthem performance old-fashioned in Twitter post
Laura Wright, 26, has become a favourite with the crowd since she first began leading England’s players and supporters in rousing versions of God Save The Queen more than four years ago.
But yesterday Laura told how she had been left “undeniably upset” after Carling suggested her role should be kicked into touch.
The row erupted after Carling, 51, took to Twitter to denounce Laura’s performances as “old fashioned”.
The classical singing sensation is England’s first official anthem singer.
But former ace Carling went on to praise how impressive the national anthems were before last weekend’s Six Nations encounters when Wales took on England and France faced Scotland.
He said: “Really enjoyed listening to the anthems being sung by the stadiums in Paris and Cardiff. No ‘singer’! Twickenham take note.”
Will also claimed that the 26-year-old was "no singer"
Laura, who is a favourite of the Queen and a friend of Prince Harry, felt forced to defend herself after his remarks sparked a heated debate.
She wrote: “I’m incredibly proud of what I do. I’ve always had positive feedback that my singing (or anyone’s) has united the crowd.”
Laura – a talented sportswoman who plays rugby herself – sings at many major international sporting events and was the first soprano to sing at the Olympic Stadium.
Born in Suffolk, she found fame at 15 when she won BBC Radio 2’s Chorister Of The Year competition.
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Laura defended herself by claiming she was "incredibly proud" of what she does
She later earned a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London and went on to sell more than 2.5 million copies of her debut album, The Last Rose.
Yesterday she admitted she had been stung by the criticism but insisted there were “no hard feelings”. She told the Daily Express: “I sing at Twickenham for my love of the sport and my passion for England rugby.
“Of course it matters to me what the players think of my involvement, so seeing a rugby legend writing something negative about the anthem set-up at Twickenham was undeniably upsetting.
Laura's fans also defended her on Twitter against Carl's comments
“But I love what I do and, sure, you can’t please everyone.” But not everyone was so forgiving of Carling.
After Laura hit back on Twitter, Jamie Watson wrote: “Couldn’t agree more, Laura. I think you do a cracking job and should be very proud!”
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Another fan wrote: “Yeah Carling, take that.
Why don’t you stick to what you do (remind me…what is that again?)” Carling – who captained England between 1988 and 1996 and won 72 caps for his country – replied: “I might not do a lot, or even have done a lot, but I still have the right to my opinion.”