Calcutta Cup To Go On National Tour

Scottish Rugby today announced a fantastic opportunity for clubs and communities to get their hands on one of sport's most venerable trophies - the Calcutta Cup - lifted by Scotland after they defeated England in this year's RBS 6 Nations tournament.Scottish Rugby today announced a fantastic opportunity for clubs and communities to get their hands on one of sport's most venerable trophies - the Calcutta Cup - lifted by Scotland after they defeated England in this year's RBS 6 Nations tournament.

As a thank you to players and supporters of rugby across the country, the cup is available to all clubs until 31 August, after which it will embark on a four month tour of Scotland's rugby regions, giving a second opportunity to all of Scottish Rugby's member clubs to host the world's oldest piece of international rugby silverware.

The trophy starts its tour in the Glasgow North region, before being escorted to the Central region, Highlands and Islands, Edinburgh and Midlothian, Glasgow South , Fife and Tayside, and Grampian, before ending its tour in the Borders.

Chief executive of Scottish Rugby, Gordon McKie, said: "The Calcutta Cup trophy tour is our way of thanking clubs across the country for their continued support and hard-work.

"We must support the youngsters and volunteers who are keeping the game alive. Hopefully the trophy can inspire players, volunteers, referees and coaches across Scotland and also encourage new ones to join at what is a very exciting time for Scottish rugby."

So far the cup has already featured at events across Scotland including the Cashback for Communities launch in the east end of Glasgow, First Minister's question time at Holyrood, Melrose 7s, and the Ayr international schools festival.

To access the glittering prize held aloft by Calcutta cup winning captain, Mike Blair, clubs should apply directly to Erica Darby at [email protected] stating your club/association, contact details, the reason why you would like the cup to visit your club, and the date required (please give alternative dates where possible). To handle the volume of requests, we also ask that you put 'Calcutta Cup request' in the subject of the email.

Priority will be given to those who require the cup as a showpiece for youth/school events and club dinners while the number of participants, media coverage/presence and logistics will also come into consideration.

Please forward all regional requests on to your regional development manager who will be responsible for the cup's whereabouts while it's in your region.

The regional tour will travel in the order listed below:
" Glasgow North - September 1 - 14
" Central - September 15 - 28
" Highlands and Islands - September 29 - October 12
" Edinburgh and Midlothian - October 13 - October 26
" Glasgow South - October 27 - November 9
" Fife and Tayside - November 10 - November 23
" Grampian - November 24 - December 7
" Borders - December 8 - December 21

The history of the cup
The Calcutta Cup came to be when lovers of rugby football wanted to form a club in Calcutta during the occupation of India and as a result formed of the Calcutta Football Club in January 1873. The Calcutta Football Club joined the English Rugby Football Union in 1874.

It was soon recognised that the Indian climate was not entirely suitable for playing rugby and other sports, such as tennis and polo, which were considered to be more suited to the local climate, and 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 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 penalty. The following year on 28 February 1880 England became the first winners of the Calcutta Cup when they defeated Scotland by two goals & three tries to one goal in Manchester.

Matches have continued annually apart from interruptions during the two world wars, and due to disputes between unions in 1885, 1888 and 1889.

As of 2008, 115 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 Scottish Rugby's Murrayfield Stadium Murrayfield Stadium in Scotland (on even years) and Twickenham Stadium (on odd years).