Kicked into touch!: England captain's girlfriend dropped from anthem duties at Twickers today as rival soprano in the slit dress gets the nod

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 Pre match entertainment / Classical singer Laura Wright

Despite being the girlfriend of the England Captain, Camilla Kerslake, 24, pictured left, found herself replaced by 22-year-old singing rugby player Laura Wright

On paper, Miss Kerslake seems like a shoo-in. She has sung at four previous rugby internationals, and regularly travels with the team.

But perhaps one distinctive feature on Miss Wright’s CV gave her the advantage – she’s a rugby player herself.

The 22-year-old, who was chosen by the Queen to record a song for the Diamond Jubilee last year, plays full-back for Rosslyn Park in South West London.

The two singers went head to head at Twickenham last December, when England played the All Blacks.

Rugby royalty: Camilla Kerslake, 24, with her partner, England and Harlequins rugby captain Chris Robshaw

Rugby royalty: Camilla Kerslake, 24, with her partner, England and Harlequins rugby captain Chris Robshaw

While Miss Wright sang God Save The Queen, Miss Kerslake, who spent part of her childhood in New Zealand, sang for the Kiwis.

And it seems Miss Wright was something of a lucky charm. In a historic victory, England went on to beat world champions New Zealand 38-21.

It is the first time England has ever had an official anthem singer. Miss Wright will perform before each of the team’s Six Nations matches, and beyond.

Rugby sources said they were ‘surprised’ at the decision not to appoint Miss Kerslake to the new post.

One said: ‘Camilla has sung at Twickenham five times for England and Harlequins and done a great job.

‘It’s surprising but perhaps the Rugby Football Union didn’t want to be seen to be appointing favourites.

‘It will be strange because Camilla will be in the stands supporting Chris and she could have had a role.

‘That’s not to say that Laura isn’t very good. Quite the contrary.’

Miss Wright, who was born in Suffolk, first found fame at 15, when she won BBC Radio 2’s Chorister of the Year competition.

While studying at 16,000 a-year Framlingham College, where she had a scholarship, she was chosen to join the classical girl band All Angels.

Later she earned another scholarship, to the Royal College of Music, and worked in a bar to make ends meet. Since then she has sold more than 2.5million copies of her debut album, The Last Rose.

Laura v Camilla

On her appointment, Miss Wright said: ‘It’s a huge honour to have been asked to be England’s official anthem singer.

atmosphere at Twickenham when the team run out in front of a packed
crowd of 82,000 is unlike anywhere else and I’m privileged to be able to
perform for the players and the supporters.

‘I’m a passionate sports fan and have recently taken up rugby at Rosslyn Park, so I might be able to pick up a few tips!’

Miss Kerslake, who has a Welsh mother, was born in Dulwich, South London. And, despite spending eight years in New Zealand as a girl, she counts herself a fervent England supporter – thanks in part to her relationship with Robshaw.

The boyfriend: England Captain Chris Robshaw during the international rugby match between the New Zealand and England in 2010

The boyfriend: England Captain Chris Robshaw, seen during a match between the New Zealand and England in 2010, has been dating MIss Kerslake since 2011

She met the 26-year-old England and Harlequins captain when she performed at a rugby charity dinner in 2011. The couple now share a home in Kingston, South West London, near to the Harlequins’ training ground. When asked on Twitter whether she would be singing today, Miss Kerslake responded: ‘I’ll be in the stands cheering for my man!’

She even jokingly claimed that she could be singing in Cardiff when Wales play England, writing: ‘I’m English/Welsh/Kiwi I should be singing for every England v Wales #6nations match!!!’ Despite her England allegiances, Miss Kerslake looked thrilled last December as she posed with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and fly-half Dan Carter at a gala reception after the New Zealand game.

She posted the photographs on Twitter, writing ‘! All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and I!’ and ‘Fan girling!’ on the picture with Carter.

Explaining the posts and her nationality, she said: ‘My dad is from New Zealand and I grew up there.

‘When I started going out with Chris, he said: “Why couldn’t you have gone out with Dan Carter” I said you should be happy I’m dating a rugby player. My mum is Welsh so rugby is in my blood.’

VIDEO Camilla sang the New Zealand national anthem just last month

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