The History of the Calcutta Cup

The History of the Calcutta Cup

In 1871 the first ever game of International rugby was played in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place, between Scotland and England, which Scotland came out victorious. In 1879, Scotland played England for a trophy for the first time, a trophy called the Calcutta Cup.

Photo credit: World Rugby Museum

The Calcutta Cup was given to the English Rugby Football Union by the Calcutta Rugby Club in India. The club was formed by soldiers and expats in 1872 and became affiliated with the RFU in 1874. The majority of members were soldiers from the Royal East Kent Regiment 1st Battalion stationed in Bengal.

After around three years, the soldiers started to leave Bengal and the club folded. They took whatever money was left in silver rupees, 270 rupees to be exact, and gave it to a local Indian silversmith to make them a trophy. The coins were melted down and formed into the cup of silver you know today as the Calcutta Cup. You can see his influence on the trophy to this day with king cobras on the side and an Indian war elephant on the top to symbolise victory for the winning team. Every year since 1879 Scotland and England have competed for this trophy, except during the two World Wars.

Share your memories of Calcutta Cup matches gone by for the chance to win a signed Scotland jersey or ball, together with Macron. Find out more and enter..

Test out your Calcutta Cup knowledge with the quiz below 

1. In what year did the sides share a 15-15 draw at BT Murrayfield?

2. Which Scotland winger grabbed two tries in 2019?

3. Which centre scored tries for Scotland in the 2018 Calcutta Cup win?

4. This centre started all three of the 2017 British & Irish Lions’ Tests in New Zealand

5. Name this winger who scored 220 points for Scotland between 1992 and 2003

6. Which player is the all-time top scorer in the fixture with 114?

7. This English scrum-half dropped two goals against Scotland in 2009 and 2014

8. With 88 caps, this World Cup winner has middle names of Bruno and Nero

9. This double British & Irish Lion scored a try in a 22-16 England win in 2011

10. Who was Scotland’s skipper for the 2018 Calcutta Cup win?

11. Which 7ft lock made his Scotland debut in the 2000 Calcutta Cup win against England

12. Name the Englishman who captained his country to a 2003 Rugby World Cup success

13. Which Scotland prop won his first cap in the 12-all draw against England at Twickenham in 1989?

14. Which New Zealand-born player is England’s most capped hooker with 96?

15. Who captained Scotland to their 1990 Grand Slam success?

  • Expand for answers

    1. 2010

    2. Darcy Graham

    3. Huw Jones

    4. Owen Farrell

    5. Kenny Logan

    6. Jonny Wilkinson

    7. Danny Care

    8. Lawrence Dallaglio

    9. Tom Croft

    10. John Barclay

    11. Richard Metcalfe

    12. Martin Johnson

    13. Paul Burnell

    14. Dylan Hartley

    15. David Sole

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