England Rugby history. On the 26th January 1871, a meeting attended by representatives from 21 clubs was held in London at the Pall Mall restaurant. At the gathering it was agreed the rules of Rugby school would be adopted and the laws of the game were drafted.
The first international football game resulted from a challenge issued in the sporting weekly Bell’s Weekly on 8 December 1870 and signed by the captains of five Scottish clubs, inviting any team “selected from the whole of England” to a 20-a-side game to be played under the Rugby rules. The game was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, the home ground of Edinburgh Academicals, on 27 March 1871.
The English team wore all white with a red rose on their shirts and the Scots wore brown shirts with a thistle and white cricket flannels. The England team was captained by Frederick Stokes of Blackheath, that representing Scotland was led by Francis Moncrieff; the umpire was Hely Hutchinson Almond, headmaster of Loretto College.
The game, played over two-halves, each of 50 minutes, was won by Scotland, who scored a goal with a successful conversion kick after grounding the ball over the goal line (permitting them to ‘try’ to kick a goal). Both sides achieved a further ‘try’ each, but failed to convert them to goals as the kicks were missed (see also ‘Method of Scoring and Points’ below). Angus Buchanan of Royal High School FP and Edinburgh University RFC was the first man to score a try in international rugby.
In a return match at the Kennington Oval, London, in 1872, England were the winners.