Pop star Dinah Jane receives mixed reactions to news she'll be singing Tongan national anthem at RLWC semi-final

Pop star Dinah Jane, a member of the famous X-Factor girl group Fifth Harmony, has received mixed reactions after she announced on social media that she will be singing the Tongan national anthem at this weekend's Rugby League World Cup semi-final between Tonga and England in Auckland.

Jane, 20, is of Tongan, Samoan, Fijian and Danish descent.

The singing star made the announcement yesterday through her Twitter and Instagram.

"I'm so excited to announce that I'll be in attendance at the Rugby Semi-Finals in New Zealand this weekend. I'm deeply honoured that I️ was asked to sing the Tongan National Anthem for this historic event," Jane posted on social media.

Jane has copped some negative criticism online from fans, saying she is taking the limelight away from the game.

Online Community for Tongans Facebook followers had mixed reactions about the star singer singing the national anthem ahead of the match.

"Be humble, don't need to advertise something that's irrelevant to the game… This is a semi-final not a Tongan parade or concert, come on stay humble and grounded for our team," posted Tiena Buba Taliai.

One follower came to the defence of the singer, saying she is a proud Tongan, doing something special for Mate Ma'a Tonga. 

"She has sold millions worldwide, just be glad someone as famous as her is proud to be Tongan, there's no need to put her down like that, she hasn't done you wrong," said Ilaisaane Masina Taufa.

Tongan Advisory Council member Melino Maka believes the Tongan anthem is designed to be sung in a group and suggests a small church choir would be perfect for the occasion.

Melino Maka believes the violence between Tongan and Samoan fans could have been avoided by tournament organisers. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's designed to be sung in a group," said Maka.

"They got caught up with an international star and individual, it's ok.

"But a group singing the anthem will get players and fans connected. Emotionally connect with it."

Other fans of Jane were quick to throw their support behind the international star.

"We're so proud of you," said Jonah Tarrobago on Facebook.

"Best choice ever! I'm more excited to hear your accent singing our anthem," posted Soa'ileata Malani on Facebook.

Jane said she has been keeping a keen eye on the progress of Tonga at the tournament.

"For the last couple of weeks I've seen many videos online of Tongans around the world celebrating in unison of their excitement for each time MMT advanced in the World Cup tournament," said Jane.

"I remember watching and feeling at that moment how beautiful it was to see our people so HAPPY! And then hearing that some of the players took a pay cut to play for our little island only meant one thing... they aren't playing for money... they aren't playing for any other reason but purely for PRIDE!

"And just like the players... in honour of them and of Tonga I'll be singing with PRIDE! Let's go Mate Ma'a Tonga."

In the other RLWC semi-final Fiji take on heavy favourites the Kangaroos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Friday night.


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Video: Limber Konrad Hurrell stretches out at Tonga training ahead of World Cup semi-final

Mate Ma'a Tonga have begun preparations for their Rugby League World Cup semi-final against England on Saturday, hoping to book a spot in the tournament final for the very first time.

Having beaten Lebanon 24-22 in Christchurch, Tonga have returned to Auckland to build up for Saturday's clash.

The Mate Ma'a Tonga winger enjoyed a lighter moment with one of the team's assistants. Source: 1 NEWS

The decision to reject New Zealand for Tonga will have a huge impact in the future, Tony Kemp believes. Source: 1 NEWS

Mate Ma'a Tonga shocked the rugby league world with a 28-22 win over New Zealand in Hamilton. Source: 1 NEWS

Centre Konrad Hurrell and the rest of the side took part in some stretches, before the team ran through some offensive and defensive drills, preparing to face England at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Mate Ma'a Tonga centre is looking in top shape for this weekend’s clash with England. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: Jason Taumalolo defection a breakthrough for Pacific nations, says ex-Kiwis star

Jason Taumalolo's decision to turn his back on the Kiwis and represent Tonga at this year's World Cup will forever change international rugby league, according former Test player Tony Kemp.

Widely held as one of the best players in the world, Taumalolo dropped a bombshell an hour before New Zealand's World Cup squad was announced, opting to play for the nation of his heritage, rather than that of his birth.

Speaking to TVNZ 1's Te Karere, Kemp said that the decision will now always be regarded as a turning point for rugby league, both in New Zealand and in the Pacific.

"What will happen with the decision this year, and the World Cup, will make every kid aspiring to play for New Zealand now look at playing for their other country of origin," he said.

"That's fine, but to get a decent Kiwi team, you have to work hard at it ."

"You can't just expect to pick him - like they found out - an hour out and expect him to play. If you are going to lose the players, at least be in the fight."

The decision to reject New Zealand for Tonga will have a huge impact in the future, Tony Kemp believes. Source: 1 NEWS


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