RWC headlining act Rita Ora: “New Zealand holds a special place in my heart”

Rita Ora, a global pop star, will perform at the opening match in the women’s Rugby World Cup.

Ora will be the headliner at Eden Park on Saturday, October 8, as Shapeshifter and Benee are also scheduled to perform.

Ora, ahead of the performance, says that she is “excited” to take the stage in Aotearoa.

Benee will perform at this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photo / Supplied

She said, “It is an honor to be part of the Rugby World Cup 2021 Family and to share the stage alongside amazing talent as we shine light on women’s sports,” in a statement.

“New Zealand holds a special spot in my heart, and I look forward connecting with the players, fans and everyone else during my time at this tournament.”

Ora has been a top performer on music charts all over the globe and has also performed at Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Garden. She also holds the record for most UK Top 10 singles by British female artists.

Rumours have it that she is also married to Taika Waititi, an award-winning Kiwi director. She recently visited New Zealand and was seen sightseeing in Wellington and Auckland with him.

Michelle Hooper, director of the Rugby World Cup 2020 tournament, said that she hopes the performances will inspire young Kiwis “to pursue their dreams through sport”.

She says, “We are thrilled to welcome Rita Ora and Shapeshifter to Rugby World Cup 2021 whanau.”

Alan Gilpin, CEO of World Rugby, says that the performances will be a celebration of “rugby’s greatest reunion ever since the pandemic”.

The triple-header South Africa will take on England, Fiji and Australia in the opening matchday.

During the tournament, Shapeshifter will also be on the stage. Photo / Supplied

Ora will perform during the Fiji v England match, and at half-time during Australia v New Zealand.

Shapeshifter will be performing at the semi-finals Saturday November 5th, while Benee will perform in the bronze final and final Saturday November 12th.

The tournament was originally scheduled for 2021 but was delayed by the Covid-19 epidemic.

The match will be the Black Ferns’ first Rugby World Cup match at home, as well as the first time that the women’s Rugby World Cup is being held in the Southern Hemisphere.

This is the largest event in women’s rugby 15s, with 12 of the best teams from around the world playing at three venues: Eden Park and Waitakere Stadium.

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