Calcutta Cup

Calcutta Cup: A history of rivalry

England and Scotland resume their historic rivalry in the 2024 Six Nations on Saturday as they both look to win the latest Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield.

After two weeks’ absence, the 2024 Guinness Six Nations is set to resume this weekend, with the third round of fixtures set to be played. This week’s matches will see one particularly special fixture take place, and that is the contest between Steve Borthwick’s England and Gregor Townsend’s Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon (16:45).

The two rival nations will compete head to head for this year’s Calcutta Cup. The Calcutta Cup is nothing short of iconic, particularly in English and Scottish rugby circles, and it is a cup that is up for grabs whenever these two countries meet at the Six Nations.

The origins of the Calcutta Cup itself go back to the 19th Century, with the name of this historic trophy coming from a now defunct Indian Rugby Club that were, unsurprisingly, known as the Calcutta Football Club. They were founded in 1872, before they would go on to finally become affiliated with the RFU two years later in 1874. Unfortunately, they did cease to exist in 1877.

The Calcutta Cup is the oldest international trophy in the entire world of rugby. A duplicate Calcutta Cup is sat pride of place in the World Rugby Museum, located at the equally iconic Twickenham Stadium in England.

England and Scotland competed to win this trophy for the first time ever back on 10th March 1879, with the game being played at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh. It ended in a draw. England was the first of these two rival nations to win the title.

This feat was achieved on 28th February 1880 at the Whalley Range in Manchester. England won 2 – 1 with 5 tries compared to Scotland’s 1.

Overall, England and Scotland have played against each other to win the Calcutta more than 100 times, and England has won the most as of the time of writing with 82 compared to 47 for Scotland.

The most recent Calcutta Cup winner, competed for in the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, was Scotland, who were 23 – 29 victors at Twickenham Stadium. This was their third Calcutta Cup triumph in succession, having won it in the 2021 and 2022 Guinness Six Nations.

Unsurprisingly, when it comes to such a history fixture, there have been many memorable Calcutta Cup moments over the years. Now, we are set to look back on some of them.

2019: An exhilarating draw

The first moment we are reflecting on took place in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham Stadium. It was 80 enthralling minutes of intense action that saw England and Scotland play out an incredible 38 – 38 draw. It was also notable for the fastest try bonus point in the entire history of the Six Nations when England were able to score no less than four tries in just 30 minutes.

The tries for England that day were scored by Jack Nowell, Tom Curry, Joe Launchbury, Jonny May and George Ford. Owen Farrell was their only player to score a penalty and a conversion. As for Scotland, their tries came from Stuart McInally, Darcy Graham (2), Magnus Bradbury, Finn Russell and Sam Johnson.

2017: England emphatic winners to seal a second successive Six Nations win.

We now go back to 2017, when Scotland and England met again to contest that year’s Calcutta Cup at Twickenham in the 2017 Six Nations. On this occasion, it was an emphatic 61 – 21 victory for Eddie Jones’ England on the day, their joint record winning margin against their rivals since beating them 43 – 3 in the Five Nations back in 2001.

England sealed the 2017 Six Nations and Calcutta Cup and scored 7 tries on the day on their way to what was a simply historic victory. Jonathan Joseph (3), Anthony Watson, Billy Vunipola and Danny Care (2) were all the try scorers for England that day. Gordon Reid and Huw Jones were the only scorers of tries for Scotland on the day.

2001: England reclaim the Calcutta Cup in style.

Finally, we go back sixteen years to the aforementioned 2001 encounter between England and Scotland in that year’s Six Nations at Twickenham Stadium. After being defeated in the first Calcutta Cup of the 21st Century in 2000, England wanted revenge by winning – and reclaiming – the title a year later.

They did exactly that, winning by a margin of 43 – 3. Iain Belshaw, then 21 years old, scored two tries – this was made more impressive given that he was the youngest player in the entire squad, and as this was only his 10th Cap. Lawrence Dallaglio also managed to score two tries, whilst Will Greenwood and Richard Hill were also both on hand to score a try each that day.

Excitement and anticipation are building rapidly ahead of the 2024 renewal of the iconic and equally historic Calcutta Cup at the 2024 Guinness Six Nations.

This game between England and Scotland at Murrayfield will be played on Saturday, 24th February 2024, with the game getting underway at 16:45 in the afternoon.

There is no better way to experience world-class rugby at the 2024 Guinness Six Nations than with an Eventmasters VIP Hospitality Package. Book now to avoid disappointment.

Guinness Six Nations Hospitality – 2024

Register For Six Nations Hospitality – Priority Alerts:

Six Nations

If you are interested in the Six Nations series in 2025, our Six Nations hospitality team are ready to help you make your day memorable - Complete this contact form and one of our Six Nations Team will be in contact shortly.

  • If you are enquiring on behalf of a company confirm the full company name
  • If you are enquiring on behalf of a company please confirm your title / position with the company
  • Let us know your exact requirements for SIx Nations 2025
  • Please note that any bookings placed with Eventmasters Limited are subject to our Terms & Conditions

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.