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The Ireland Rugby Shirt Collection

The Ellis Rugby Ireland Rugby Shirt Collection. A selection of quality garments that are designed with inspiration drawn from the history of Rugby in Ireland.

Irish Rugby History

Early Days

The first Rugby Football Club to be formed in Ireland was Dublin University in 1854. The students at the university were introduced to Rugby while at public schools in England.

Irish Polo Front Image

The Ellis Rugby Irish Polo Shirt

To begin with there was two Rugby Unions in Ireland; the Northern Union controlled Rugby in the Belfast area while The Irish Football Union controlled Rugby in the rest of the country. Ireland had two Rugby Unions because of a meeting of Irish Clubs that took place in 1874 after the English Rugby Union requested an international match against Ireland. Many of the Belfast Rugby Clubs were not present at this meeting so had not been included in the planning of this match. These Belfast clubs formed the Northern Football Union and agreed to offer ‘physical assistance’ to Ireland for the international game.

Ireland’s first international game was a twenty a side match held on February 15 1875. England won the game in front of a crowd of 3,000. The first 15 a side international was on 5th February 1877 against England, once again England won the match.

The two Irish Rugby Unions were combined in 1879 to form the Irish Rugby Football Union.

 A Time for Irish Rugby Firsts

In 1905 the All Blacks visited Ireland. The game between Ireland and New Zealand was the first to be an all-ticket international Rugby game. The game ended in a 15 – 0 defeat for Ireland.

One year later Ireland played the Springboks for the first time. Taking place at Balmoral Showgrounds the match drew a crowd of around 15,000 people. South Africa emerged victorious from the game with the final score reading 15 – 12. Ireland’s second game against South Africa wasn’t to be as successful as the first. The game took place in 1912, the Springboks won the match 38 – 0. This was a record loss for Ireland against South Africa and to this day remains their biggest defeat to the Springboks.

1909 saw Ireland play against France for the first time. The game was to be Ireland’s most successful international yet. The final score was 19 – 8 to Ireland and featured 5 Irish tries, a new record for Irish Rugby in an international match. In addition the 19 points earned during the game was Ireland’s largest points tally in an international game.

Searching for Championship Success

Irish Rugger Front Image

The Ellis Rugby Irish Rugger

Having previously won the Home Nations Championship 3 times and drawn for the lead of the championship twice, Ireland were looking for their first Grand Slam win. During the 1926 Five Nations Championship (successor of the Home Nations Championship) Ireland had not lost a single game heading into their final game of the championship. Ireland faced Wales in Swansea for the final game. The game ended in a 11 – 8 win for Wales, leaving Ireland still chasing their first Grand Slam win. The same was to happen again in the next years championships with Ireland’s only loss being a 8 – 6 defeat by England.

The first Irish Rugby Grand Slam win did not take place until 1948. Not only was it Ireland’s first Grand Slam it was also their first Five Nations Championship victory. The next years championship was to see Ireland win the championship for the second consecutive year. Despite missing out on the Grand Slam this time Ireland still won the Triple Crown, as they had done the year before.

Having missed out on winning the 1950 Five Nations Championship Ireland were back to their winning ways in 1951. Ireland were close to not just winning the championships but also securing the Grand Slam and Triple Crown. All that stood in their way was the previous years championships winners Wales. The final game against Wales ended 3 – 3, securing Ireland the championships victory but making them miss out on the Grand Slam and Triple Crown.

Testing Times

The early 1960’s proved to be difficult for Irish Rugby, their only victory’s being against England in 1961, Wales in 1963 and England in 1964. Irish Rugby picked up momentum again in 1965 with Ireland narrowly missing out on Five Nations success. In addition 1965 saw Ireland beat South Africa for the first time, the game was drawing until Ireland scored a last minute penalty securing them the win.

Irish T-Shirt Front Image

The Ellis Rugby Irish T-Shirt

The 1969 Five Nations also saw Wales close to securing another Grand Slam and Triple Crown only to be denied it by Wales again. This year also saw the Irish Rugby Football Union appoint the first coach for the national team.

The 1970’s would prove to also be a difficult time for Irish Rugby. All though this time it was because of what was happening off the pitch rather than on it. The winner of the 1972 Five Nations Championships was left undecided after Scotland and Wales refused to play Ireland. This was because of threatening letters, believed to be from the IRA, being received by Scottish and Welsh players.

Although there was similar threats to players in 1973 England went to Ireland to play their Five Nations Championships game. At the end of the match the England squad received a standing ovation for attending the game despite the threats. The Five Nations Championships of 1973 ended in a five way tie after each competing nation won 2 games and lost 2 games. Ireland went on to win the Five Nations Championships in 1974, their first Five Nations Championship in more than 20 years.

Further Success

Ireland won the Five Nations again in 1982, they were also on track for a Grand Slam win until they were beaten in their final match by France. The same happened again in 1985 with Ireland winning the championships and only missing out on Grand Slam win because of a draw against France. The following year Ireland was whitewashed in the Five Nations Championships, finishing bottom of the table after losing all of their games.

The 1989 Rugby World Cup featured a better performance from Ireland, they finished second in their pool placing them in a quarter final with Australia. Australia won the quarter final match 33 – 15, sending Ireland home.

The 1990’s

During the 1990’s the Five Nations Championship was dominated by England and France. The beginning of the professional Rugby era would prove to be difficult for Ireland, they finished bottom of the Five Nations championship three years in row in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

For the 1991 Rugby World Cup Ireland was drawn in the same pool as Scotland. Ireland finished second in the pool after beating Japan and Zimbabwe and losing to Scotland. In the quarter finals Ireland once again faced Australia. The game against Australia proved to be tight with Ireland leading. However Australia scored a late try resulting in a 18 -17 Australia win.

1995 saw Ireland in their third consecutive Rugby World Cup quarter final after finishing second in their pool again. Ireland’s opponent for the quarter finals was France. Ireland exited the 1995 Rugby World Cup after a 36 – 12 loss to France.

Despite the 1999 Rugby World Cup being held in Wales, Ireland played all of their pool matches in Wales. This World Cup was also the first to feature 20 nations. Ireland finished second in their group placing them in a play-off match against Argentina to decide who progressed into the quarter finals. Argentina emerged victorious from the play-off, sending Ireland home with this World Cup being the first one where they hadn’t participated in a quarter final.

Irish Resurgence

Vintage 6 Nations T-Shirt image

The Vintage 6 Nations T-Shirt

Irish Rugby returned to better fortunes in 2000. Italy had been included in the Five Nations, making it the Six Nations Championships. Ireland finished third in the inaugural Six Nations Championships having beaten France, Italy and Scotland.

In the final match of the 2003 Six Nations Championship Ireland faced England. Both teams had won all of their other games leaving the final one to decide who would take the Grand Slam victory. Ireland were unsuccessful in their quest with England winning the decider 42 – 6.

Ireland finished second in their pool in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Once again Ireland were eliminated in the quarter finals by France. However, Ireland went on to be the first team to beat England after the England team won the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

By the time were back playing in the Rugby World Cup of 2007 they had won the Triple Crown in the Six Nations Championship 3 times, although yet to win the championship. The Rugby World Cup saw Ireland finish third in their pool, qualifying for the next World Cup but missing out on the quarter finals.

Success was to come for Ireland as they achieved not only their first Six Nations championship win but also a Grand Slam victory. Ireland next won the Six Nations in 2014 and 2015.

The Ireland Rugby Shirt

The Ireland Rugby Shirt is traditionally green with a shamrock on the chest. The first Ireland Rugby Shirt to feature sponsorship was in 1996 with Irish Permanent sponsoring the national team. In recent years the Ireland Rugby Shirt has evolved from the traditional cotton jersey into the modern tight fighting jerseys. The Ireland Rugby Shirt has also incorporated different alternative designs over the years. For example, since 1998 the alternative Ireland Rugby Shirt has been white with green flashes. 2012 did however feature a black alternative Ireland Rugby Shirt rather than a white one.

Showing all 4 results

  • Vintage Irish Rugger The Vintage Irish Rugger Back Image
    Vintage Irish Rugger £69.95 Select options
  • Vintage 6 Nations T-Shirt Vintage 6 Nations T-Shirt image
    Vintage 6 Nations T-Shirt £29.95 Select options
  • Vintage Irish T-Shirt The Vintage Irish T-Shirt Back Image
    Vintage Irish T-Shirt £29.95 Select options
  • Vintage Ireland Polo Shirt The Vintage Ireland Polo Shirt Back Image
    Vintage Ireland Polo Shirt £44.95 Select options

4 Item(s)