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Match report: The first England v Wales rugby international

Updated Wednesday, 16 September 2015
The first England v Wales rugby match took place on Saturday 19th February, 1881. This match report suggests that Wales' skills on the pitch had yet to show themselves.

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At Blackheath on Saturday afternoon, the initial match, according to Rugby Union Rules, between England and Wales was decided in the presence of a large number of football enthusiasts and their friends. The weather, although dull, was by no means unfavourable, and the ground of the Blackheath Football Club proved in excellent condition; but the game was one of very disappointing character on account of its one-sidedness.

At every point the superiority of England displayed itself in marked manner. Indeed, to use a sporting phrase, they may be said to have had a walkover.

In all twelve tries (Burton and Fassell four each, and Taylor, Hunt, Fernades and Twynan one each) were obtained.

From seven of these were placed by Stokes, and as Hunt succeeded in dropping a goal, England retired winners by eight goals and five tries to nothing.

From the Daily News, 21-02-1881

The first Wales Rugby Union team, 1881 The 1881 Welsh Rugby Union team

As we know, Wales didn't take long to find their feet on the Rugby pitch. Discover why the Welsh took Rugby to their hearts.


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