"The Oldest of Enemies" - Top 5: England vs Wales Matches - Ruck

“The Oldest of Enemies” – Top 5: England vs Wales Matches

The age-old rivalry between England and Wales is re-ignited this weekend, in the first of two back-to-back Rugby World Cup Warm-Up matches. These two sides have met on 139 separate occasions, with plenty of exciting clashes to look back on throughout their storied history.

England currently edge ahead of Wales in all-time wins, with 67 triumphs to Wales’ 60. The Home Nation rivals have drawn on 12 occasions, and England currently hold the bragging rights with their 20-10 win in the 2023 Six Nations.

After the matches in Cardiff (August 5th) and Twickenham (August 12th), Wales will become England’s joint-most battle tested opponent. After their 141st meeting, they will tie level with Scotland for most matches, and could well be set to elapse this in the knock-out stages of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

If all goes to plan for Steve Borthwick’s and Warren Gatland’s sides, they are due a re-union in either the quarter-final or semi-final of the upcoming competition. However before then, England will make the trip across the Severn Bridge, with pride well and truly on the line in tomorrow’s clash at the Principality Stadium.

Here are 5 of the most memorable meetings between England and Wales.

1. England 16 – 12 Wales: 1974 Five Nations Championships

Following a decade of dominance in the Welsh golden era, England pulled off a shocking upset in the 1974 Five Nations Championship. Heading into the match, Wales held an undefeated streak against their old enemy, which stretched back to 1963. The likes of Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams and Phil Bennett began to run roughshod on England once again, and established a healthy lead, before the tide turned for an unexpected victory.

England found their way to the try line through the late, great, David Duckham, in a performance so good he was embraced by Welsh fans with the nickname ‘Dai.’ Andrew Ripely added a try of his own, before Alan Old’s subsequent conversions and duo of penalties won the match, and dashed Welsh hopes for the Five Nations title.