The Calcutta Cup is the oldest rugby trophy and a private affair, going back to 1878, and it is up for grabs this Saturday.
The Calcutta Cup looks Indian and indeed comes from India.
There was a club formed in Calcutta in 1873, which would make it one of the oldest clubs in the world if it were still in existence.
It joined England's Rugby Football Union in 1874 but membership dwindled and the club folded in 1878.
It turned its assets into 270 silver rupees, had them melted down and, in India, turned into the Calcutta Cup which it gave to the RFU for competition between England and Scotland - a handsome trophy about 45 cm high with an elephant, complete with howdah on top and king cobras for handles. The base is made of wood with plates to name the winners.
The oldest international match is England versus Scotland, first played in 1871. The Calcutta Cup was presented for matches between England and Scotland only. The match each season is referred to as the Calcutta Cup match.
It is a venerable trophy in this day of many trophies.
It did not deserve the treatment it got in 1988 in Edinburgh.
England beat Scotland 9-6 in a drab match at Murrayfield and after the riotous dinner police constable Dean Richards of England and farmer John Jeffrey of Scotland played soccer with the Calcutta Cup in Princes Street, damaging it. Jeffrey, who is now an IRB committeeman, was banned for six months, Richards for just one match.
That match was the last Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield when only God Save the Queen was sung - and booed. From then on Scotland had Flower of Scotland to boost their patriotic fervour.
Winners down the Years
1885: No match
1888: No match
1889: No Match
1915-19: No matches
1940-46: No matches
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