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England v Scotland Preview - Calcutta Cup!

RBS 6n & CallcutaCup

By Kath Updated 19/2/04 with Scotland Team
February 19 2004

England travel to Scotland this weekend for the next round of the RBS 6n Championship and the Calcutta Cup. Will the Scots send England home again to 'think again'? New Page 1

Calcutta Cup & RBS Six Nations Championship

Scotland v England  21/2/2004 

And so England will meet the 'old enemy' again on the Murrayfield battleground!  

Scotland who are going through many changes right now, with new coaches, new tactics seem to be struggling to cope with it all.  However, I am sure the whole of Scotland will be shouting for their team to beat England on Saturday at Murrayfield.  They will sing their famous 'Flower of Scotland' and evoke battle cries of old ........... and send them home again to think again!

England on the other hand are a settled outfit, are no longer bothered about playing away from home.  They know their drills, the players know what is expected of them and above all the team and each player can now adapt from plan A to plan B at will.  The saying Total Rugby springs to mind, but I don't think England are at that stage yet!  One day however, it will be the case when one player will be able to fit in anywhere and make a difference.

Sir Clive Woodward England's Head Coach has named the same starting line up that played Italy last week,  apart from Joe Worsely who is out injured.  Youngster Chris Jones (Sale) steps up for the first time starting, we wish him luck and Alex Sanderson another Sale Shark moves onto the bench.

A lot is talked about this match but I thought I would like to have a look at the history of the Calcutta Cup so here you will find some extracts from the SRU site.

G. A. James Rothney (who was the Calcutta Club Captain, Honorary Secretary and Treasurer) proposed that the funds be used to have a trophy made of ornate Indian workmanship and that the trophy be offered to the Rugby Football Union in London. This was agreed and a letter, dated December 20th, 1877, was sent to H. J. Graham the then Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the R. F. U. Part of the letter reads as follows:

'…I proposed at a meeting of the few remaining members of the Club…as the best means of doing some lasting good for the cause of Rugby Football and as a slight memento of the Calcutta Club that the funds remaining to the credit of the Club should be devoted to the purpose of a Challenge Cup and presented to the Rugby Union to be competed for annually in the same way as the Association Cup or in any other way the Committee of the Rugby Union may consider best for the encouragement of Rugby Football. This proposition was carried unanimously and I now write to beg you to place the matter before the Committee of the Rugby Union and beg their kind acceptance of a Cup and also to enquire if the Committee would prefer one of Indian workmanship, or the money remitted for the purchase of a cup at home? The sum of money at my disposal at the present rate of exchange is about £60 sterling…'

Rothney's letter, charming yet to the point, gave the background to the birth, the life, and the death of the Calcutta Football Club. Enthusiastic when in existence and, at the end, determined to do good for the advancement of rugby football, the membership had made a decision which was to see keen competition on the field of international rugby, between England and Scotland, for well over 100 years.

A. G. Guillemard, President of the R. F. U. responded thus:

'The Committee accept with very great pleasure your generous offer of the cup as an international challenge cup to be played for annually by England and Scotland - the cup remaining the property of the Rugby Football Union.'

The Calcutta Cup

Thus came into being an original, elegant and distinguished trophy. The Calcutta Club officials closed their bank account, withdrawing the entire balance due in silver rupees and having these melted down and crafted by the finest Indian workmanship into what has become known world-wide as The Calcutta Cup. It is approximately 18 inches high, has three handles in the form of cobras and has a handsome lid surmounted by an elephant.

The inscription on the Cup's wooden base reads:


The base has attached to it additional plates which record the date of each match played with the name of the winning country and the names of the two captains. The names of many fine and distinguished players appear on the base.

The first Calcutta Cup match was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, on 10 March 1879 and ended in a draw - Scotland scored a drop goal and England a goal. Including that day in 1879, England and Scotland have contested the Calcutta Cup, excluding the years of two World Wars, regularly on an annual basis. Up to and including 2001, England had won the trophy 57 times, Scotland 37, with 14 matches having been drawn.

SRU  Link  - Much more history here!

SCOTLAND:   Ben Hinshelwood (Worcester); Simon Danielli (Bath), Tom Philip (Edinburgh), Brendan Laney (Edinburgh), Simon Webster (Edinburgh); Chris Paterson (Edinburgh, Captain), Chris Cusiter (The Borders); Tom Smith (Northampton), Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow, Vice Captain), Bruce Douglas (The Borders), Scott Murray (Edinburgh), Stuart Grimes (Newcastle Falcons), Jason White (Sale Sharks), Simon Taylor (Edinburgh), Cameron Mather (Glasgow)

Replacements: Robert Russell (Saracens), Gavin Kerr (Leeds). Nathan Hines (Edinburgh), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh), Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Dan Parks (Glasgow), Andrew Henderson (Glasgow)


ENGLAND: I Balshaw (Bath); J Lewsey (Wasps), W Greenwood (Harlequins Vice Captain), J Robinson (Sale Sharks),   B Cohen (Northampton); P Grayson (Northampton), A Gomarsall (Gloucester); T Woodman (Gloucester), S Thompson (Northampton), P Vickery (Gloucester), D Grewcock (Bath), B Kay (Leicester), C.Jones(Sale), R Hill (Saracens),      L Dallaglio (Wasps, Captain).

Replacements: M Regan (Leeds), J Leonard (Harlequins), S Shaw (Wasps), A.Sanderson(Sale) M Dawson (Northampton), O Barkley (Bath), H Paul (Gloucester).

And so to sound my usual cry...............

The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge.......
Henry V (1599) Act3, Scene1




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