SHE’S famous for her chart-topping albums and her soaring choral voice, and sporting soprano Laura Wright will be making a few more hearts flutter at Twickenham on Valentine’s Day.

The Suffolk songbird has become best known for singing the National Anthem before England matches since her appointment as the Rugby Football Union’s official anthem singer in 2012.

And while comparisons with Charlotte Church are inevitable, she says she won’t switch from singing to classical pop.

“The fickleness of the music industry scares me and that’s one of the reasons why I wouldn’t turn to pop, because it can end up being a very short-lived career,” said Wright, who will be on Twickenham duty when England meet Italy in their Six Nations joust with Italy on Saturday.

“It is pretty terrifying when you’re out there – just you and a microphone.

“The microphone packed up during the anthem last year.

“I was mortified, but I carried on with the words and the 80,000 fans just sang it for me. That was an incredibly special moment.”

She may have been nicknamed ‘The Knockout’ by Prince Harry, but she’s about as far from the stereotypical prim and proper classical crossover star as you can find.

When she is not honing her enchanting voice in front of sell-out crowds, Wright is turning out for Rosslyn Park Ladies team.

She punches balls, crunches weights – mixing gymnastics weights and circuit training.

“I’ve always been fiercely ambitious and I grew up with three older brothers and my life was about doing everything they did and trying to be as good as them,” added Wright who brings her debut tour to Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music next month.

“I get a bit of stick from the opposition when I’m out on that pitch I can tell you, but I just smile.

“But for me strength is beauty.

“I love being a strong woman, I love having a strong body.

“I guess my rebellion is my obsession with sport.

“I’ve broken a tooth, got punched on the head and smashed my ankle – it’s not what you expect from a soprano. But it’s me.”

She added: “Sport does give me a nice sense of calm. It is somewhere to escape to from the pressure of live performance and it taught me respect and discipline.”

But the glamorous singer has been a big noise in the classical music world since her early teens, when she won the BBC Chorister of the Year award for female voice.

Her debut solo album, The Last Rose, reached number one on the classical compilation albums chart, and she went on to work with Russell Watson, Alfie Boe, Andrea Bocelli and Gary Barlow.

She has met The Queen several times and was selected to record her Diamond Jubilee song, Stronger As One, which the monarch mentioned in her Commonwealth Day message at Westminster Abbey.

“I’ve had the honour to spend time with some amazing people, Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran and my hero Jonny Wilkinson, the England World Cup winner.

“I was just a giggling mess when I met Jonny Wilkinson.

“He’s my big crush.”

  • Laura Wright, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, Monday, March 30. Details from 0161 907 5200