One of rugby’s oldest national rivalries, England and Wales are set to etch the next chapter in the history books this afternoon. Wales come to Twickenham for the round two clash in the 2024 Six Nations, with the history books brimming with exceptional match-ups between the two sides.
Out of the 141 previous meetings between England and Wales, the winnings are narrowly split throughout the centuries. England enter the match win 68 total wins, with Wales trailing slightly behind with 61 total triumphs. After some quick mathematics, we can then deduce that there has been 12 on-field draws between the two nations, with the bragging rights very rarely shared throughout history.
The World Rugby Rankings have England seeded at fifth ahead of this match, three positions to the better of their noisy neighbours Wales. The men from over the river Severn have arrived at Twickenham in full force, and will be eager to pull off the victory with a new look side. So, with kick off coming ever closer, here is a look at England vs Wales by the numbers.
FIRST MEETING: England 8-0 Wales – 1881 Wales Tour of England
Richardson’s Field, Blackheath – 19th February 1881
The second oldest rugby rivalry, England and Wales have a legendary history that is only predated by England and Scotland. Dating all the way back to 1881, the first rugby match between the two nations took place in the rein of King George V, and saw England sent victorious with six tries to nil. However, the archaic rules of rugby union meant that a point could only be scored following a successful kick at goal, which brought about low-scoring result.
MOST RECENT MEETING: England 19-17 Wales – 2023 Summer Nations Series
Twickenham Stadium, London – 12 August 2023
The most recent meeting between the two nations took place just last Summer, in what was the second of a two-match series ahead of the Rugby World Cup. Just a week after England were bested 20-9 in Cardiff, Steve Borthwick’s men achieved a home victory in an underwhelming pre-World Cup campaign. The match is best remembered for England’s poor discipline, with the side dropping down to 12 men at one point in the match. Henry Arundell, Ellis Genge, Freddie Steward and Owen Farrell were all sent to the sin bin, with Farrell’s offense later upgraded to a red as he missed the opening rounds of the Rugby World Cup.
BIGGEST WINNING MARGIN: England 62-5 Wales – 2007 Rugby World Cup Warm-Up Match
Twickenham Stadium – 4th August 2007
The record setting margin of victory, was in favour of England ahead of the 2007 Rugby World Cup. This 57 point deficit saw England run riot at Twickenham, with nine tries and an additional 17 points from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson. This high scoring contest came on the road to England’s unexpected trip to the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final, with Nick Easter grabbing four tries against Wales. The additional scores came from current England head coach Steve Borthwick, as well as Laurence Dallagio, Shaun Perry, Jason Robinson and Matthew Tait.