The history of the England Rugby team extends back to 1871 when the nation played their first official test rugby union match, losing 1–0 to Scotland in front of a crowd of 4000 people at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh. This was also noted in the history books as being the very first rugby union international to have taken place.
The English national rugby union side annually competes in the Six Nations Championship alongside France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. A competition which they have won 28 times throughout its various incarnations, with an impressive 13 Grand Slams and 25 Triple Crowns. This illustrious record makes them the most successful outright winners in the history of the tournament. Their most recent English Championship victory came in 2017 with captain Dylan Hartley and coach Eddie Jones at the helm.
Along with the Six Nations itself, England also plays for 3 other trophies during the Six Nations; the Triple Crown (awarded if either Scotland, England, Ireland or Wales beat all other Home Nations); Calcutta Cup (vs Scotland) and the Millennium Trophy (vs Ireland). A Grand Slam is also awarded for a clean sweep of every team.
England has been involved with every Rugby World Cup tournament since it’s inception in 1987 and reached the final on four occasions. In 1991 they lost to Australia 12-6, in 2007 to South Africa 15-6, in 2019 again losing to South Africa 32-12. Their solitary victory came in 2003, thanks to that famous Jonny Wilkinson drop goal in extra time.
The 2023 Rugby World Cup will take place in France, and England have qualified already automatically having placed third or above in the pool stages of the 2019 tournament. They qualified 1st in Pool C in Japan with wins over Tonga, the USA and Argentina. Their fourth match versus France was cancelled due to the effects of the deadly Typhoon Hagibis. However, by this point, England had done enough to qualify top of the group and proceed to the knock-out stages. A 40-16 quarter-final win over Australia and a famous 19-7 semi-final victory over the New Zealand All Blacks took them to rugby union's biggest stage, the Rugby World Cup Final. The second Webb Ellis trophy wasn't to be, as South Africa ousted Eddie Jones' men in the final.
The English Rugby Union - known as the RFU - has their home base at Twickenham Stadium in London. In the early 1900s, the union moved Internationals around several locations before deciding to invest in its infrastructure. The land was purchased in 1907 for £5572 and construction began the following year. On the 15th of January 1910, the England Rugby team took to the pitch to play Wales for Twickenham's first match.
The Stadium was subsequently expanded in 1927 and 1932. Throughout the 1990's new North, East and West stands were constructed. In 2005/2006 the final piece, a new South Stand was constructed to transform the stadium into a complete bowl. Twickenham now boasts a capacity of 82,076 and is the largest dedicated rugby stadium in the world.
Whilst you are at Twickenham you will hear the national anthem being sung before every match - God Save the Queen. England also has another anthem in Swing Low, Sweet Chariot which you are sure to hear belted out by fans around the stands.
Englands 2020 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures
In 2020, England were looking to bring their Rugby World Cup form into the 6 Nations with a strong display in the tournament, again headed up by Eddie Jones. After falling at the first hurdle in Paris to a resurgent France, England went on to produce some dominant displays taking them up to joint top of the table prior to the Coronavirus claiming Round 5 of fixtures. This fixture versus Italy has now been re-scheduled with details listed below.
Round 1: Sunday 2nd February - France v England; K.O 15.00, Stade de France, Paris. TV: BBC SPORT. RESULT - France 24 - 17 England.
Round 2: Saturday 8th February - Scotland v England; K.O 16.45, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh. TV: BBC SPORT. RESULT - Scotland 6 - 13 England
Round 3: Sunday 23rd February - England v Ireland; K.O 15.00, Twickenham Stadium, London. TV: ITV SPORT. RESULT - England 24 - 12 Ireland
Round 4: Saturday 7th March - England v Wales; K.O 16.45, Twickenham Stadium, London. TV: ITV SPORT + S4C. RESULT - England 33 - 30 Wales
Round 5: Saturday 14th March -
Italy v England; K.O 16.45, Stadio Olimpico, Rome. TV: ITV SPORT - POSTPONED
Round 5: Saturday 31st October - Italy v England; K.O 16.45, Stadio Olimpico, Rome. TV: ITV SPORT
England's 2020 Summer Tests
In the summer of 2020, England was supposed to taking on a two-match tour of Japan as well as a home fixture against the invitational side Barbarians FC. However, the Covid-19 global pandemic put paid to the tour and all fixtures were cancelled.
Sunday 2nd June: England v Barbarians; Twickenham Stadium, London - CANCELLED
Saturday 4th July: Japan v England; Oita Stadium, Oita - CANCELLED
Saturday 11th July: Japan v England; Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe - CANCELLED
England's 2020 Autumn Tests
Yet another victim to coronavirus is the Autumn Test schedule. All 4 planned matches have been cancelled,
Saturday 7th November: England v New Zealand; Twickenham Stadium, London - CANCELLED
Saturday 14th November: England v Argentina; Twickenham Stadium, London - CANCELLED
Weekend of 20/21/22 November: England v Tier 2 Nation (TBC); Twickenham Stadium, London - CANCELLED
Saturday 28th November: England v Australia; Twickenham Stadium, London - CANCELLED
However, we are currently awaiting details of a Nations Cup to take place in the Autumn. This is rumoured to feature the Six Nations teams plus Fiji and Japan. It would feature two pools both with three games per team leading up to a final.
In 2012, Canterbury took over from Nike as the official kit supplier of the England rugby shirt, training kit and leisurewear ranges. This partnership ended in 2020 with the announcement that Umbro will be taking up the position of Official Technical Kit Partner from the 1st September. Umbro will provide the team’s match kit, training wear and off-field kit as well as offering fans a full range of supporter wear including men’s, women’s and children’s ranges
Although having not featured in rugby for many years Umbro has a wealth of experience dating back nearly 100 years. In the past the have previously supported each of the home nations, multiple clubs and the only British & Irish Lions team to win a series in New Zealand, in 1971.
Anthony Little, Managing Director – Umbro, commented: “The partnership between Umbro and England Rugby from September is a seminal chapter in our history. The first time the England rugby team runs out onto the pitch, wearing the double-diamond logo, will be a proud moment for us, as an English brand.”
“Modern rugby is demanding but our approach at Umbro has always been to make sure our kits are fit for purpose and we have been working tirelessly to ensure that we meet those demands and deliver a kit that will perform for England Rugby.”
“Simon Massie-Taylor, Chief Commercial Officer, England Rugby commented on the partnership: “We are delighted to be entering this new chapter with Umbro as Official Technical Kit Partner from September and welcome them into the England Rugby family. Umbro has a rich heritage supporting English sports and share our values in dedication to high performance and innovation. We look forward to unveiling the new kit later this year.”
The England rugby shirt is traditionally white, with touches of red, in homage to the flag of St George and the Red Rose crest.
The 2021 Umbro England Shirt will be out in September and available to purchase online and in-store. These are the shirts to be worn by England during the 2021 Guinness Six Nations.
First XV Rugbystuff.com stock a full collection of official Umbro England Rugby merchandise, with replica rugby shirts available, classic cotton rugby shirts, rugby balls, training kit and leisurewear all available online.
We also have custom rugby shirt personalisation available, meaning you can get the name or number of your favourite English rugby player on the back of your England rugby shirt from just £6! This makes a superb addition to a gift to makes things personal!
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