Jungle Crows

Calcutta Cup

It was 1872 apparently when the first game of rugby was played in Calcutta, on Christmas Day between a bunch of enthusiastic expats. So the Jungle Crows are just the latest in a long line of rugby tradition in the great city of Kolkata.

Calcutta Cup - 1879The fame of the Calcutta Cup comes from the annual England v Scotland game played since 1871 and played for the cup named Calcutta since 1879. But of course there is another Calcutta Cup, the trophy currently played for during the rugby season in the renamed city of Kolkata. But why is the England v Scotland fixture played for the Calcutta Cup?

Following the first game on Christmas Day in 1872 the rugby players of Calcutta decided to form themselves a club and in 1874 they registered with the Rugby Football Union (130 years before the Crows). History tells it that as an introductory offer the Calcutta Football Club offered a free bar to players but once this innovation was dropped numbers began to fall. Among the players in the early years were some real superstars of the day, two England internationals (BH Burns and S Finney), an Ireland international (G St Leger Fagan) and two future Scottish internationals (D McKinnon and GC Maclagan).

After only four years the club had run out of quality fixtures and it was decided to wind the club down. Let's hope the Jungle Crows last at least as long! A decision then had to be made as to what to do with the remaining club funds. Club Captain G.A. James Rothney suggested a trophy be made which would keep alive the name of the Calcutta Club.

This was agreed and in a letter dated December 20th 1877 the Calcutta Club proposed to the Rugby Football Union that they accept such a trophy. The Rugby Football Union accepted the idea.

The Calcutta Club closed its bank account, withdrawing the balance in silver rupees, and these were melted down and made into the trophy now known as the Calcutta Cup. The cup is approximately 18 inches high and has three handles in the form of cobras and an elephant on the lid. The inscription on the base reads:
THE CALCUTTA CUP PRESENTED TO THE RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION BY THE CALCUTTA FOOTBALL CLUB AS AN INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE CUP TO BE PLAYED FOR ANNUALLY BY ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND 1878.

The first Calcutta Cup match was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, on 10 March 1879 and ended in a draw - Scotland scored a drop goal and England a goal. Including that day in 1879, England and Scotland have contested the Calcutta Cup, excluding the years of two World Wars, regularly on an annual basis.

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Final day of the Jungle Crows Winter Camp in Kolkata, 10 mornings with more than 200 children each morning.
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Winter Camp Tournament played out on Maidan.
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Jan Intensive coaching week starts in Dumka with 8 schools signed up to Khelo Rugby.
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Khelo Rugby launches in Dumka, Jharkhand with 8 schools playing .
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Khelo Rugby India and Pakistan recognised for participation in Global Peace Games.

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