Six Nations 2023: Bye, bye, bye Delilah - Wales rugby choirs banned from singing Tom Jones hit

Song dropped from playlists over ‘problematic subject matter’

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has ordered Tom Jones’s 1968 hit Delilah to be axed from its Principality Stadium choirs’ song list on the eve of the 2023 Six Nations.

The pop song about a jealous lover stabbing his unfaithful paramour has been lustily sung by Welsh fans and become something of an alternative sporting anthem.

But with the WRU reeling from allegations of a “toxic” culture and misogyny the governing body has responded to claims that it promotes violence against women by banning it. The song includes the lyric: “She stood there laughing/I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more.”

A Principality Stadium spokesperson said: “Delilah will not feature on the playlist for choirs for rugby internationals at Principality Stadium.


“The WRU removed the song from its half-time entertainment and music playlist 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.”

Delilah, written by Barry Mason and Sylvan Whittingham with music by Les Reed, was released in 1967 and sung by Tom Jones and went on to win a coveted 1968 Ivor Novello award.

The acting Welsh Rugby Union chief executive, Nigel Walker, has warned the future of the game in Wales is at stake over the allegations of misogyny, sexism, racism and homophobia that have rocked the organisation.

Allegations of a “toxic culture” at the WRU were aired in a television documentary last week, resulting in the resignation of the chief executive, Steve Phillips, on Sunday. An independent taskforce is to be set up to tackle the allegations, with Sport Wales – a Welsh government-funded body – advising on the make up and remit of the panel.

The Six Nations begins in Cardiff on Saturday when Warren Gatland’s Wales side host Ireland. Wales also face arch rivals England at the Principality Stadium this year. – Guardian