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The England Rugby Shirt Collection

The Ellis Rugby England Rugby Shirt Collection. A collection featuring our quality items of clothing which are designed with inspiration drawn from the history of Rugby in England. Within this collection you will find a variety of English Rugby Shirts ranging from shirts celebrating specific players to shirts featuring modern designs with inspiration drawn from the classic English Rugby Shirts.

English Rugby History

Early Beginnings

Variations of ball games such as Rugby have been present in England since the middle ages. For hundreds of years there were threats from kingdom rulers to ban all ball games. This is because ball games were associated with a number of accidents which resulted in the victim being unable to work. In some cases ball games were made illegal for a number of years.

Red Rose Rugger Image

The English Red Rose Rugger

It is believed that Rugby as we know it today began at Rugby School. Pupil William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran forwards with it during a game of football. Different schools had different rules for football with the rules often decided just before a game started. Rugby school allowed for the ball to be picked up during a game but the player had to run backwards, towards his own goal or pass the ball. In addition there was no limit on the number of players participating in a game.

Former pupils of Rugby school helped to spread Rugby Football across the country in the mid 18th century. The spread of Rugby was also helped by a law which banned Football games from taking place on public land. With the former pupils still wanting to play Rugby Football, many set up clubs to enable them to do so. The Rugby Football Union was formed in 1871 which resulted in the production of a standard set of Rugby rules.

The Rugby Football Union was formed by 21 clubs, the new administrative body would be run by a chairman and a committee of 13 members. Following the formation of the RFU three former Rugby School pupils were asked to produce a set of “laws” for the game.

The Start of English Internationals

1st International Polo Image

The English 1st International Polo Shirt

The first England international Rugby match took place on March 27 1871. The game was against Scotland, the game ended 1 goal and 1 try to Scotland, 1 try to England making Scotland the winners.

As the first RFU was formed in England it was seen as the law maker for the sport. A dispute over whether a try scored during a game was a try or not began between Scotland and England in 1884. England said that it was a try where as Scotland said that it wasn’t. England then said that as they make the laws for the game, if they say it is a try then it is a try. This then led to Scotland refusing to play Rugby against England in 1885.

England refused to join an International Board in 1886 that had been formed by the other home nations. This led to Scotland, Wales and Ireland refusing to play Rugby against England. England gave in and joined the international board in 1890. Over time the international board has gradually taken over responsibilities and now makes the laws of Rugby.

The Great Divide

At the time Rugby was an amateur sport which meant players should not be paid. The clubs in the North of England disagreed with this. They thought that players should be paid for the time lost playing Rugby when they could be working. The RFU refused to accept this, resulting in a split. 22 clubs from the North of England formed their own union, The Northern Union, in August 1895. As the players for these northern clubs were no longer amateurs it meant that they could not play for the national team. To make matters worse for the RFU more clubs followed and joined the Northern Union.

For a century English Rugby remained the same with the southern RFU refusing to allow players to be paid and the northern Rugby League (as it was renamed in the 1920’s) paying players for their time.

Turning Professional

The 1987 Rugby World Cup made people realise the huge audiences that Rugby could attract as well as the money that could be made from it. This led to media moguls planning professional Rugby leagues involving the world’s best players. The writing was on the wall for Rugby union. The decision to turn the sport professional was announced by the International Rugby Football Board shortly after the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The North/South and professional/amateur divide had ended with Rugby League saved.

English Rugger Front Image

The Ellis Rugby English Rugger

The England Rugby Shirt

The first England Rugby Shirt was white with the red rose on the chest, it is unknown why the red rose was chosen all though there are many theories. The kit worn by the England team for the first international Rugby match against Scotland was inspired by the kit worn at Rugby School. Over the years the England Rugby Shirt has changed little with the shirt being entirely white from the first Rugby international up until 1991. This is when the collar on the jersey was made blue, in addition two thin blue and two thin red hoops were added to the right arm. Red and Blue remained on the England Rugby Shirt, in various different designs, until 1997. In 1997 the colour blue was removed from the jersey but red remained. Since then red has been featured on every England Rugby Shirt.

Showing all 20 results

  • English Rugby T-Shirt The English Rugby T-Shirt Badge Detail Image
    English Rugby T-Shirt £29.95 Select options
  • Vintage English Rugger England Rugby Shirt
    Vintage English Rugger £69.95 Select options
  • English Red Rose Polo The English Red Rose Polo Back Image
    English Red Rose Polo £44.95 Select options
  • English 1st International Rugger English 1st International Rugger Back Image
    English 1st International Rugger £69.95 Select options
  • English 1st International T-Shirt English 1st International T-Shirt Back Image
    English 1st International T-Shirt £29.95 Select options
  • English 1st International Polo Shirt The English 1st International Polo Back Image
    English 1st International Polo Shirt £44.95 Select options
  • English Red Rose Pocket T-Shirt The English Red Rose Pocket T-Shirt Back Image
    English Red Rose Pocket T-Shirt £29.95 Select options
  • English Red Rose Rugger English Red Rose Rugger Back Image
    English Red Rose Rugger £69.95 Select options
  • Probables v Possibles T-Shirt The Probables V Possibles T-Shirt Back Image
    Probables v Possibles T-Shirt £29.95 Select options
  • The Flying Prince T-Shirt - Navy The Flying Prince T-Shirt - Navy Back Image
    The Flying Prince T-Shirt – Navy £29.95 Select options
  • Vintage 6 Nations T-Shirt Vintage 6 Nations T-Shirt image
    Vintage 6 Nations T-Shirt £29.95 Select options
  • English Red Rose Hoodie The English red Rose Hoodie Back Image
    English Red Rose Hoodie £69.95 Select options
  • The Flying Prince Rugger The Flying Prince Rugger Back Image
    The Flying Prince Rugger £69.95 Select options
  • The Flying Prince T-Shirt - Grey The Flying Prince T-Shirt in Grey Back Image
    The Flying Prince T-Shirt – Grey £29.95 Select options
  • The Flying Prince Polo Shirt The Flying Prince Polo Shirt Back Image
    The Flying Prince Polo Shirt £44.95 Select options
  • The 'Triple Blue' Rugger The 'Triple Blue' Rugger Back Image
    The ‘Triple Blue’ Rugger £69.95 Select options
  • The Triple Blue Polo The Triple Blue Polo Back Image
    The Triple Blue Polo £44.95 Select options
  • The 'Triple Blue' T-Shirt - Navy The 'Triple Blue' T-Shirt in Navy Back Image
    The ‘Triple Blue’ T-Shirt – Navy £29.95 Select options
  • The 'Triple Blue' T-Shirt - Sky The 'Triple Blue' T-Shirt in Sky Back Image
    The ‘Triple Blue’ T-Shirt – Sky £29.95 Select options

20 Item(s)