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A deep dive into the rivalry between England and Wales

At the end of this month the Summer Internationals kicks off. This is this year’s version of the Autumn Internationals. This tournament will be used as the ultimate preparation for the Rugby World Cup which starts 12 days after the final Summer Internationals match. Therefore we thought it’s the right time to delve into the rivalry between England and Wales.

England v Wales

Rugby, with its raw physicality and strategic brilliance, has given birth to numerous intense rivalries throughout its rich history. One such historic and fiercely contested rivalry exists between England and Wales. These two neighboring nations have battled it out on the rugby field for well over a century, captivating audiences with their fiery clashes and memorable encounters. Let us delve into the origins, the intensity, and the significance of the England-Wales rivalry in the world of rugby.

Origins of the Rivalry

The roots of the England-Wales rivalry can be traced back to 1881 when the two nations faced each other in their first rugby union international. The match ended in a 0-0 draw, setting the stage for what would become a storied rivalry. Over the following years, England and Wales engaged in numerous fiercely contested encounters, fueling the animosity and adding to the rivalry's historical significance.

The Dragon vs. The Rose

One of the key elements that intensify this rivalry is the clash of national identities. Wales, with its passionate and patriotic rugby culture, considers the sport to be an integral part of its national identity. The Welsh rugby team, known as the Dragons, is revered by its fans, who bring immense energy and fervor to matches against England.

England, on the other hand, carries the emblem of the rose on its jersey, symbolizing both elegance and strength. The English team, known for its disciplined and physical approach to the game, has been a dominant force in international rugby. This contrast in playing styles and national identities adds a compelling dimension to their encounters on the pitch.

Notable Matches and Moments

The England-Wales rivalry has seen its fair share of thrilling matches and iconic moments that have etched themselves into rugby folklore. From Gareth Edwards' famous try in 1973 to Scott Gibbs' last-minute heroics in 1999, these matches have produced dramatic twists and turns that have left fans on the edge of their seats.

The Six Nations Championship, held annually between England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, and Italy, is the stage for some of the most memorable clashes between these two fierce rivals. Matches between England and Wales in this tournament are known for their intensity and passion, often determining the outcome of the overall championship.

Off the field, the rivalry between the two nations extends to the banter and good-natured taunting between fans. The atmosphere in the stadiums during England-Wales encounters is electric, with fans passionately belting out their respective national anthems and engaging in friendly but heated exchanges.

Implications and Legacy

The rivalry between England and Wales extends beyond the rugby field and carries significant cultural and historical weight. It reflects the longstanding and complex relationship between the two nations, blending competition and respect. The matches between England and Wales provide a platform for both countries to showcase their rugby prowess, with the outcomes often resonating beyond the sporting realm.


The rivalry between England and Wales in rugby is a captivating and intense clash that has stood the test of time. It brings together the passion and national pride of two neighboring nations, creating an atmosphere that is unparalleled in the world of rugby. With its rich history, iconic moments, and fierce battles, the England-Wales rivalry remains one of the most celebrated and cherished rivalries in the sport. As fans eagerly await the next chapter in this storied contest, they can rest assured that the Dragon and the Rose will continue to produce unforgettable spectacles on the rugby field for generations to come. The upcoming match in the Summer Internationals is going to be the episode in this rivalry. Book your Wales v England tickets for this match at Principality Stadium now!