The Millennium Trophy

If you are a football fan, you might be aware of the Six Nations Championship involving jaw-biting Rugby matches between the 6 major rugby players of Europe, namely England, France, Wales, Scotland, Italy and Ireland. It would be interesting to note that this was actually a Home Nations Championship that had involved only 4 teams, namely Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England during the late 19th century and early 20th century. What came next was that France joined this championship in 1910, and thereon it came to be known as the Five Nations Championship Trophy. Finally around 4 decades later, Italy also joined as a participant in these matches, and the nomenclature was finally set to the Six Nations Championship.

The Millennium Trophy as mentioned above, is amongst the contending trophies of this Six Nations Championship, and is primarily played between England and Ireland. As of today, England happens to be the current residing champion, having won the trophy several consecutive times in the last two decades.

Rugby Football Union

The Rugby Football Union is the Chief Governing Body that manages the sport across the UK. There are over 2000 Rugby Clubs as well as over 2.5 million players who have been registered with this Union, and it happens to be the biggest association of this stature across the world. While the Rugby Football Union was a male-dominated arena, formed way back in 1871, the Rugby Football Union for Women was formed only in 2010. It was only at the dawn of the new millennium that the general attitude and approach towards women playing football changed. Earlier it was considered as a rough game, and women were discouraged from playing. But now a number of world-level and nation-level tournaments and championships are gaining popularity, which includes the participation of both senior women as well as women under 19 and under 17.

Yet another important body in this realm is the Army Rugby Union, which has been the governing body for rugby in the British Army since 1906. While football remained a popular sport in the UK and across Europe, the credit for its widespread global popularity can be mostly given to the British Empire. The former colonizers took this game to every nook and corner of the globe, and this is why the game has become a mass phenomenon in Latin America.

For those who are unaware, the Calcutta Cup was one of the world’s oldest rugby union trophies and goes all the way back to 1879. Of course it was England that emerged at the dominant rugby champion in this cup, with the slight exception of Scotland at certain matches. The actual wooden cup that boasted of fine Indian craftsmanship, has actually weakened over the years because of rough handling. So a new cup has replaced it, while the old one remains as a popular exhibit at the Museum of Rugby in Twickenham.