The England National Rugby Union Team is intimately tied to the history of the sport itself. Established for the purpose of playing in the first recognized international rugby match in 1871, England has since been a force to be reckoned with on the international rugby stage. The organization’s emphasis on the values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship can be felt throughout the game, making England’s influence world-wide and lasting.
1871 The Rugby Football Union is established in London by a committee of clubs. Many of these founder clubs still exist (Blackheath, Civil Service, Guy’s Hospital, Harlequins, King’s College, Richmond, St. Paul’s School, Wellington College, Wimbledon Hornets). The laws of the game are established and a team is selected to play a match against Scotland -- this is the first international rugby game.
1883 England wins the first Home Nations Championship (later called the Six Nations Championship).
1895 Because of the RFU’s strict amateur code and the game’s popularity among shift-workers in the north of the country, 22 teams resign from the RFU and create the Northern Union in what is known as the “great schism.” England did not win the Home Nations Championship for fifteen years following the schism.
1907 William Williams acquires a Twickenham market garden as the home playing grounds for the RFU. It becomes known as Billy Williams’ Cabbage Patch.
1909 The first official match ever played at Twickenham, between Richmond and Harlequins, takes place.
1910 Twickenham’s first international match, between England and Wales, takes place.
1914 Mere days before the outbreak of World War I, the RFU advises its players to join the armed forces.
Twickenham stadium was used during World War II to store metal and receive casualties.
The England National Rugby Union Team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship (against France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales). England has won this tournament a total of 28 times, the highest success rate of any team in the tournament.
1987 England is invited to participate in the inaugural Rugby World Cup.
1991 England advances to the finals in the second Rugby World Cup.
2003 England achieves a grand slam in the Six Nations Championship and goes on to win the Rugby World Cup in the same year, beating Australia 20-17 in extra time.
England advanced to the Rugby World Cup finals twice more, in 2007 and 2019. Both finals were played against South Africa.
England is the only team from the northern hemisphere to ever win a Rugby World Cup.
The England National Rugby Union Team plays in white first colour jerseys with navy blue socks and red and blue second colour jerseys with red and blue socks. The jerseys are adorned with England’s rose emblem, which the country adopted in the 15th century during the War of the Roses.