British & Irish Polo Rugby Shirt Retro Ecru Navy


British & Irish Shirt Polo Heritage Shirt Red Navy is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours.
In 1924, the British & Irish rugby team hadn’t toured South Africa for fourteen years and rugby was only just getting back to normal after the First World war. England had dominated the Five Nations Championship and they won seventeen games and drew one from 1920 to 1924. It therefore was strange, that only four members of the England 1924 Grand Slam side and six England full caps were chosen for the trip.


British & Irish Polo – The inspiration behind the Shirt design

British & Irish Polo Rugby Shirt Retro Ecru Navy. Is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours.
British & Irish Polo inspiration. The 1910 tour to South Africa is significant. As it included full representation from Wales in the squad. Also, prior to 1908 Reg Skrimshire was the lone Welsh player who represented the Lions back in 1903. In addition, the Newport club supplied seven players. These included five Wales players A.M. Baker, R.C.S. Plummer, P.D. Waller, J.P.’Jack’ Jones and H. Jarman. Stan Williams was born in Wales. But he opted to play for England. And the tour Captain Dr Tom Smyth was an Irish international.
Two players, Scottish scrum-half Eric Milroy. Also, the England Forward Frank Handford didn’t travel with the main touring party. Handford arrived in time to make his debut in the second game of the tour against Western Province. Which they won by 9 points to 3.

Cherry Pillman injury Blow for First Test

Milroy was studying mathematics at Edinburgh University and was taking his exams. And only arrived for the second part of the tour. As punishment for his late arrival, the squad made him wear the number 13 jersey. Number 13 was really unlucky for the Scotland international as he only managed to play in four games. Unfortunately, he contracting dangerous blood poisoning from a gravel rash.
Hopes of success in the opening game of the three-Test series were dealt a huge blow. Firstly Captain Tom Smyth was ruled out through injury. Then, the squads most outstanding player Charles Henry ‘Cherry’ Pillman pulled out. Pillman returned to the British team for the second Test. He played at Port Elizabeth, Pillman dominated the match, brought in at fly-half. In an outstanding display, he manufactured both the British tries and converted the second, earning his first international points. Such was the impact that Pillman had on the Test, that the South African captain Billy Millar later wrote:

“I assert confidently that if ever a man can have been said to have won an international match through his unorthodox and lone-handed efforts, it can be said of the inspired black-haired Pillman I played against on the Crusaders’ ground on 27 August 1903, when the “Rover” played as fly-half, mark you, not as forward.”

While Springbok’s rugby legend Danie Craven stated that Pillman “must be looked upon as one of the originators of what became known as the loose forward.”

Manufacturing Features and Details

The Ellis Rugby British & Irish Polo Rugby Shirt Retro Ecru Navy is made from 100% cotton pique cotton. It features a classic four nations badge embroider. And includes a contrast-backed collar, embroider collar stand, and herringbone side vents. Please note we use Ecru colour, rather than pure white to create a vintaged aged look to the garment. Also, this garment includes a decorative woven label.

This Polo shirt is available in sizes S – 5XL.

As well as the British & Irish Polo Shirt Retro Ecru Navy, we also offer this style in Red Navy and our British & Irish Rugby Classic Sweatshirt Zipper Red or Navy.

This product includes our unique ‘Story-Teller’ microchip. Scan the garment label on the front, just above the hem. A message will appear on iPhones, tap the icon and the video will launch. Android Smartphones often scan better if the back of the phone is placed over the label. Once the chip is detected the video will launch automatically on your phone.

Please note: The Ellis Rugby ‘Story-Teller’ is an additional feature to our garments. We will not accept returns. Or supply replacements if the tag does not work, or stops working during the garment’s life.

Here’s the video you will see, telling the story behind the garment –

Additional information




Small, Medium, Large, X Large, 2X Large, 3X Large, 4X Large, 5X Large




Polo Shirt

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