Calcutta Cup

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Calcutta Cup
Sport Rugby union
Founded 1879
No. of teams 2
Country  England
 Scotland
Most recent
champion(s)
 England

The Calcutta Cup is a rugby union trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Six Nations Championship match between England and Scotland. It is currently England's since the 2009 Six Nations Championship.

Since the cup was first competed for in 1879, England has won just over half of the 123 matches, and Scotland has won around one third.

The cup itself is of Indian workmanship, decorated with cobras and an elephant. It is now in a fragile state after much mistreatment.

The most recent Calcutta Cup match was won by England, who beat Scotland 61–21 at Twickenham Stadium on 11 March 2017, to retain the Cup which they have held since 2009.

The Calcutta Club[edit]

On Christmas Day 1872, a game of rugby, between 20 players representing England on one side and 20 representing Scotland, Ireland and Wales on the other, was played in Calcutta.

The match was such a success that it was repeated a week later. These lovers of rugby wanted to form a club in the area and the aforementioned matches were the agents which led to the formation of the Calcutta Football Club in January 1873.

The Calcutta Club joined the Rugby Football Union in 1874. Despite the Indian climate not being entirely suitable for playing rugby, the club prospered during that first year. However, when the free bar had to be discontinued, the membership took an appreciable drop. Other sports, such as tennis and polo, which were considered to be more suited to the local climate, were making inroads into the numbers of gentlemen available. The members decided to disband but keen to perpetuate the name of the club, they withdrew the club's funds from the bank, which were in Silver Rupees, had them melted down and made into a cup which they presented to the RFU in 1878, with the provision that it should be competed for annually.

The cup[edit]

The cup is of Indian workmanship, approximately 18 inches (45 cm) high, the body is finely engraved with three king cobras forming the handles. The domed lid is surmounted by an elephant which is, it is said, copied from the Viceroy's own stock. The inscription on the Cup's wooden base reads: THE CALCUTTA CUP.

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. There is an anomaly in the recording of the winning country on the base of the Cup. It was first played for in 1879, but the plinth shows records extending back to the first international in 1871.

The original trophy is in a very fragile state following many years of poor treatment and is not in a strong enough condition to attend functions or go on tours. When won by England the original Calcutta Cup is put on public display in the Museum of Rugby in Twickenham, where it slowly turns around in a purpose built showcase. Both nations have full size replicas of the Cup. Whilst the original was handmade by Indian craftsmen, the replicas were made using modern technology.

In 1988 the cup was damaged by the antics of some drunken players, including England number eight Dean Richards and Scotland flanker John Jeffrey who played football with the Calcutta Cup along Princes Street in Edinburgh. Jeffrey received a six-month ban from the SRU, whilst Richards was given a one-match sentence from England.[1]

The competition[edit]

Despite the initial request of the Calcutta Club that the trophy be used as rugby's answer to football's FA Cup, the RFU refused to turn the Calcutta Cup into a knock-out competition for English club sides. They believed that "competitiveness" ran against the amateur ethos and instead decided that a game should be played each year between England and Scotland and whoever wins should keep it for that year. 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. The following year on 28 February 1880 England became the first winners of the Calcutta Cup when they defeated Scotland by 2 goals & 3 tries to 1 goal in Manchester. Matches have continued on an annual basis ever since except for two interruptions due to the World Wars between 1915–1919 and 1940–1946.

As of 2016, 123 Calcutta Cup matches have taken place. Currently, this game is the annual match between the two nations in the Six Nations Championship. The ground alternates between Murrayfield Stadium in Scotland (on even years) and Twickenham Stadium (on odd years).

In 2004, the two countries' rugby governing bodies, the Rugby Football Union (England) and the Scottish Rugby Union, were considering a plan to add a second Calcutta Cup fixture each year, outside the Six Nations. The second fixture would be hosted by the away nation in the Six Nations fixture of the same year. Under that plan, one nation would have to win both matches to take the Cup off its current holder. Due to a largely unfavourable reaction, the proposal soon disappeared from view.

Results[edit]

Since 1879, the Calcutta Cup has played 122 times. England have won 71 times and Scotland 39 times, and the match had been drawn 14 times.[2]

Year Date Winner Result Stadium Place
1879 10 March draw 3–3 Raeburn Place Edinburgh
1880 28 February  England 9–3 Whalley Range Manchester
1881 19 March draw 4–4 Raeburn Place Edinburgh
1882 4 March  Scotland 0–2 Whalley Range Manchester
1883 3 March  England 1–2 Raeburn Place Edinburgh
1884 1 March  England 3–1 Rectory Field Blackheath
1885 Not played
1886 13 March draw 0–0 Raeburn Place Edinburgh
1887 5 March draw 1–1 Whalley Range Manchester
1888 Not played
1889 Not played
1890 1 March  England 0–6 Raeburn Place Edinburgh
1891 7 March  Scotland 3–9 Athletic Ground Richmond
1892 5 March  England 0–5 Raeburn Place Edinburgh
1893 4 March  Scotland 0–8 Headingley Leeds
1894 17 March  Scotland 6–0 Raeburn Place Edinburgh
1895 9 March  Scotland 3–6 Athletic Ground Richmond
1896 14 March  Scotland 11–0 Hampden Park Glasgow
1897 13 March  England 12–3 Fallowfield Manchester
1898 12 March draw 3–3 Powderhall Edinburgh
1899 11 March  Scotland 0–5 Rectory Field Blackheath
1900 10 March draw 0–0 Inverleith Edinburgh
1901 9 March  Scotland 3–18 Rectory Field Blackheath
1902 15 March  England 3–6 Inverleith Edinburgh
1903 21 March  Scotland 6–10 Athletic Ground Richmond
1904 19 March  Scotland 6–3 Inverleith Edinburgh
1905 18 March  Scotland 0–8 Athletic Ground Richmond
1906 17 March  England 3–9 Inverleith Edinburgh
1907 16 March  Scotland 3–8 Rectory Field Blackheath
1908 21 March  Scotland 16–10 Inverleith Edinburgh
1909 20 March  Scotland 8–18 Athletic Ground Richmond
1910 19 March  England 5–14 Inverleith Edinburgh
1911 18 March  England 13–8 Twickenham London
1912 16 March  Scotland 8–3 Inverleith Edinburgh
1913 15 March  England 3–0 Twickenham London
1914 21 March  England 15–16 Inverleith Edinburgh
1915 Not held due to World War I
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920 20 March  England 13–4 Twickenham London
1921 19 March  England 0–18 Inverleith Edinburgh
1922 18 March  England 11–5 Twickenham London
1923 17 March  England 6–8 Inverleith Edinburgh
1924 15 March  England 19–0 Twickenham London
1925 21 March  Scotland 14–11 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1926 20 March  Scotland 9–17 Twickenham London
1927 19 March  Scotland 21–13 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1928 17 March  England 6–0 Twickenham London
1929 16 March  Scotland 12–6 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1930 15 March draw 0–0 Twickenham London
1931 21 March  Scotland 28–19 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1932 19 March  England 16–3 Twickenham London
1933 18 March  Scotland 3–0 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1934 17 March  England 6–3 Twickenham London
1935 16 March  Scotland 10–7 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1936 21 March  England 9–8 Twickenham London
1937 20 March  England 3–6 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1938 19 March  Scotland 16–21 Twickenham London
1939 18 March  England 6–9 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1940 Not held due to World War II
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945
1946
1947 15 March  England 24–5 Twickenham London
1948 20 March  Scotland 6–3 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1949 19 March  England 19–3 Twickenham London
1950 18 March  Scotland 13–11 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1951 17 March  England 5–3 Twickenham London
1952 15 March  England 3–19 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1953 21 March  England 26–8 Twickenham London
1954 20 March  England 3–13 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1955 19 March  England 9–6 Twickenham London
1956 17 March  England 6–11 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1957 16 March  England 16–3 Twickenham London
1958 15 maart draw 3–3 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1959 21 March draw 3–3 Twickenham London
1960 19 March  England 12–21 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1961 18 March  England 6–0 Twickenham London
1962 17 March draw 3–3 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1963 16 March  England 10–8 Twickenham London
1964 21 March  Scotland 15–6 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1965 20 March draw 3–3 Twickenham London
1966 19 March  Scotland 6–3 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1967 18 March  England 27–14 Twickenham London
1968 16 March  England 6–8 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1969 15 March  England 8–3 Twickenham London
1970 21 March  Scotland 14–5 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1971 20 March  Scotland 15–16 Twickenham London
1972 18 March  Scotland 23–9 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1973 17 March  England 20–13 Twickenham London
1974 2 February  Scotland 16–14 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1975 15 March  England 7–6 Twickenham London
1976 21 February  Scotland 22–12 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1977 15 January  England 26–6 Twickenham London
1978 4 March  England 0–15 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1979 3 February draw 7–7 Twickenham London
1980 15 March  England 18–30 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1981 21 February  England 23–17 Twickenham London
1982 16 January draw 9–9 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1983 5 March  Scotland 12–22 Twickenham London
1984 4 February  Scotland 18–6 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1985 16 March  England 10–7 Twickenham London
1986 15 February  Scotland 33–6 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1987 4 April  England 21–12 Twickenham London
1988 5 March  England 6–9 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1989 4 February Draw 12–12 Twickenham London
1990 17 March  Scotland 13–7 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1991 16 February  England 21–12 Twickenham London
1992 18 January  England 7–25 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1993 6 March  England 26–12 Twickenham London
1994 5 February  England 14–15 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1995 18 March  England 24–12 Twickenham London
1996 2 March  England 9–18 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1997 1 February  England 41–13 Twickenham London
1998 22 March  England 20–34 Murrayfield Edinburgh
1999 20 February  England 24–21 Twickenham London
2000 2 April  Scotland 19–13 Murrayfield Edinburgh
2001 3 March  England 43–3 Twickenham London
2002 2 February  England 3–29 Murrayfield Edinburgh
2003 22 March  England 40–9 Twickenham London
2004 21 February  England 13–35 Murrayfield Edinburgh
2005 19 March  England 43–22 Twickenham London
2006 25 February  Scotland 18–12 Murrayfield Edinburgh
2007 3 February  England 42–20 Twickenham London
2008 8 March  Scotland 15–9 Murrayfield Edinburgh
2009 21 March  England 26–12 Twickenham London
2010 13 March draw 15–15 Murrayfield Edinburgh
2011 13 March  England 22–17 Twickenham London
2012 4 February  England 6–13 Murrayfield Edinburgh
2013 2 February  England 38–18 Twickenham London
2014 8 February  England 0–20 Murrayfield Edinburgh
2015 14 March  England 25–13 Twickenham London
2016 6 February  England 15–9[3] Murrayfield Edinburgh
2017 11 March  England 61–21[4] Twickenham London

Records[edit]

The current record number of points scored by a player in a Calcutta Cup game was set by Jonny Wilkinson in 2007 when he scored 27 points. The previous record of 24 points was held by Rob Andrew.

See also[edit]

The other Calcutta Cups[edit]

The Other Calcutta Cup Trophy

In 1884 Calcutta Cricket and Football Club again set up a rugby section and in 1890 set up an inter club trophy, the Calcutta Rugby Union Challenge Cup, promptly christened the Calcutta Cup.[5]

The Cup is currently held by Jungle Crows who beat CC&FC. The second division trophy was won by Calcutta Cricket and Football Club Panthers.[6]

The original and oldest Calcutta Cup is a silver trophy played for annually by the members of Royal Blackheath Golf Club. It was a gift from the Royal Calcutta Golf Club in response to the presentation of a medal given by Blackheath. It is made from melted down silver rupees reputedly from same the batch of melted down silver rupees as the Cup played for between England and Scotland. The cup arrived in London in 1875. It was first played for in December 1875 three years before the first Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland. The Cup held by Royal blackheath Golf Club has only 2 handles unlike the well known Calcutta Cup. It is only in recent years that the history of the original Calcutta Cup has been appreciated by sporting historians.

Royal Blackheath Golf Club members had close links with Blackheath Football(Rugby)Club which was one of the most prominent Clubs in the early years of the Rugby Football Union. Members of both clubs served in India in the 1870s. This link is the most likely explanation for the creation of a similar cup being created by the Calcutta rugby Club a few years later and becoming the world famous Calcutta Cup.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Calcutta Cup goes kickabout". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Napit.co.uk. "A Brief History of Calcutta Cup". Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  3. ^ BBC. "Scotland lose 15-9 to Jones' England". Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Auld Enemy put to the sword as Jonathan Joseph spearheads Calcutta Cup rout". The Telegraph, UK. Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  5. ^ Calcutta Cricket and Football Club history
  6. ^ Scrum.com report

External links[edit]