|Nickname||Wall of White|
|Governing body||Rugby Football League|
|Head coach||Wayne Bennett|
|Most caps||James Graham (44)|
|Top try-scorer||Ryan Hall (35)|
|Top point-scorer||Kevin Sinfield (202)|
(Wigan, England; 5 April 1904)
(Orlando, Florida, USA; October 2000)
(Melbourne; 2 November 2008)
|Appearances||6 (first time in 1975 )|
|Best result||Runners-up; 1975, 1995, 2017|
The England national rugby league team represents England in international rugby league.
Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.
The team, largely formed from the Great Britain team which also represented Wales, Scotland and Ireland, is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League. It participates in the Rugby League World Cup, Four Nations and Test matches.
The Great Britain and Ireland national rugby league team represents Great Britain and Ireland in rugby league. Administered by the Rugby Football League (RFL), the team is nicknamed The Lions.
The Wales national rugby league team represents Wales in international rugby league football matches. Currently the team is ranked ninth in the RLIF World Rankings. The team was run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League, but an independent body, Wales Rugby League, now runs the team from Cardiff. Three Welsh players have been entered into the Rugby League Hall Of Fame.
The Scotland national rugby league team represent Scotland in international rugby league football tournaments. Following the break-up of the Great Britain team in 2008, Scottish players play solely for Scotland, apart from occasional Southern Hemisphere tours, for which the Great Britain team is expected to be revived. The team is nicknamed the Bravehearts.
The team dates to 1904, when they played against a mixture of Welsh and Scottish players in Wigan.Until the 1950s, they regularly toured Australia and New Zealand and played both home and away matches against neighbours Wales and France, but when it was decided that Great Britain would tour the Southern Hemisphere instead of England, France and Wales became the only regular opponents.
Wigan is a town in Greater Manchester, England, on the River Douglas, 10 miles (16 km) south-west of Bolton, 12 miles (19 km) north of Warrington and 17 miles (27.4 km) west-northwest of Manchester. Wigan is the largest settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and is its administrative centre. The town has a population of 103,608, whilst the wider borough has a population of 318,100.
The Southern Hemisphere is the half of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents, four oceans and most of the Pacific Islands in Oceania. Its surface is 80.9% water, compared with 60.7% water in the case of the Northern Hemisphere, and it contains 32.7% of Earth's land.
Their first appearance in the Rugby League World Cup was in 1975, and they finished runners-up in 1975, 1995 and 2017. England also competed in the European Nations Cup and in 2006, an England 'A' team competed for the Federation Shield.
The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league tournament, contested by national teams of the Rugby League International Federation, which was first held in France in 1954, the first World Cup in either rugby code. The idea of a rugby league world cup tournament was first mooted in the 1930s with the French proposal to hold a tournament in 1931, and again in 1951. The fifteen tournaments held to date have been at intervals ranging from two to eight years, and have featured a number of formats. So far three nations have won the competition. Australia, France and New Zealand are the only teams to have played in all tournaments. Since 2000, the RLIF has also organised World Cups for women, students and other categories. The 2017 Rugby League World Cup was held in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea which was won by Australia.
The 1975 Rugby League World Championship was the seventh tournament for the Rugby League World Cup. The format differed from that employed in previous competitions; no single country hosted the matches, which were spread out in a 'world series' hosted by each of the five participating nations over a period of just over eight months. Each team had to play the others on a 'home and away' basis. Great Britain were split up into separate England and Wales teams, taking advantage of a glut of Welsh talent in the British game at the time.
The 1995 Rugby League World Cup was held during October in the United Kingdom. It was the eleventh staging of the Rugby League World Cup and was marketed as the Halifax Centenary World Cup, reflecting the tournament's sponsorship and the fact that 1995 marked the centenary of the sport. Envisaged as a celebration of rugby league football, the size of the competition was doubled, with four additional teams invited and Great Britain split into England and Wales
England's main rivals historically were Wales and France, with the rivalries stretching back to 1908 and 1934 respectively. England's main rivals now are Australia and New Zealand.
The France national rugby league team represent France in international rugby league tournaments. They are referred to as les Chanticleers or less commonly as les Tricolores. The team is run under the auspices of the Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII and is largely made up of players from Super League and the Elite One Championship.
The Australian national rugby league team have represented Australia in senior men's rugby league football competition since the establishment of the 'Northern Union game' in Australia in 1908. Administered by the Australian Rugby League, the Kangaroos are ranked first in the RLIF World Rankings. The team is the most successful in Rugby League World Cup history, having contested all 15 and winning 11 of them, failing to reach the final only once, in the inaugural tournament in 1954. Only four nations have beaten Australia in test matches, and Australia have an overall win percentage of 67%.
The New Zealand national rugby league team has represented New Zealand in rugby league since 1907. Administered by the New Zealand Rugby League, they are commonly known as the Kiwis, after the native bird of that name. The team's colour's are majority black with white and the players perform a haka before every match they play as a challenge to their opponents. The New Zealand Kiwis are currently second in the RLIF World Rankings. Since the 1980s, most New Zealand representatives have been based overseas, in the professional National Rugby League and Super League competitions. Before that players were selected entirely from clubs in domestic New Zealand leagues.
Traditionally a predominantly white kit is worn including white shorts and socks. However the jersey usually features some form of red, like red stripes, crosses or chevrons. These colours are similar to other English sporting teams and are the colours used on the national flag. In 2008, a new kit was introduced featuring a red cross on the front and red strips down the sides of the jersey, shorts and socks were white too with red strips.Also in 2008, the Rugby Football League chose to abandon the traditional English lion on the badge in favour of a much simpler shield and cross design.
Currently the team is ranked third in the world, behind Australia and New Zealand. Wayne Bennett is the head coach, and Sean O'Loughlin the captain.
In 1895, twenty-one clubs split with the Rugby Football Union, citing that they wanted to play professionally, and formed the Northern Rugby Football Union. The twenty-one clubs were all from Northern England and the players were largely working class. However it was not just English players who made the switch, Scottish and Welsh players also switched allegiance to the new code, wanting payments for playing. Switching heightened in the early 20th century with more Scottish and Welsh players leaving the RFU than ever before.
The England national rugby union team had been playing international matches since 1871, but it was not until 1904, nine years after the formation of the new code, that an international rugby league match was played. At the start of 1903 season the Northern Union thought about international matches and scheduled a match for England on New Year's Day 1904 in Oldham. On that day though, the ground was frosty and the match was cancelled and it was rescheduled for April.
On 5 April 1904 England competed against a team called "Other Nationalities", who were made up of ten Welshman and two Scotsman, including George Frater, who captained the side. It was a period of experimentation for the Northern Union and each team had twelve players, not thirteen. At Central Park, Wigan the ground was muddy and in poor condition, however the match went ahead. England steamed into a 3–0 lead, from a try by Warrington's Jackie Fish. This is despite Salford's James Lomas arriving late and causing England to start the match with eleven players. Fish missed the conversion and so the Other Nationalities were able to level the scores a little later, Welshman Thomas crashing over for a try. The conversion was missed and going into half-time the score was tied 3–3. In the second half Thomas went over for another try before Wigan's Harris sealed a 9–3 win for the Other Nationalities in the final minutes of the match. A total of 6,000 spectators turned up for the match, which was considered a poor showing despite a Broughton Rangers v Bradford cup clash being scheduled on the same day.
In 1905 a match between the two sides was played at Bradford. This time England won 26–11 even though they were losing 11–0 at half-time. Wigan's Jim Leytham scored four tries in succession, a record that still stand today.The match was played with fifteen players on each side and so was the 1906 match. Played in Wigan again, the match finished a 3–3 draw. The concept was abandoned after the 1906 match. By 1908 the game had expanded much more into Australia, New Zealand and Wales and England began playing those teams. Harold Wagstaff made his debut for England in 1908 against the touring Kangaroos team at 17 years and 228 days.
The Other Nationalities side did return in 1921. An England side beat the Australasian team of the 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain 4–5 at Highbury. England played only one international between 10 May 1956 and 7 November 1968 an 18–6 victory at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds.
England played at the World Cup in 1975 coached by Alex Murphy, which was played over several months in both hemispheres on a league basis. Normally Great Britain would represent England in the World Cup, but the RLIF wanted to capitalise on the large amount of Welsh players in the game at the time, and so England and Wales fielded separate teams.
England won their first match, a 20–2 victory over France in Leeds in March. In June the Lions suffered their first defeat in just their second match of the tournament, losing 12–7 against a strong Wales side in Brisbane. A little later England managed to hold on for a draw against Australia in Sydney, the final score being 10–10. And they also picked up a point in Auckland, drawing 17–17 against New Zealand. At the end of October, after the domestic season had finished, England beat the Welsh 22–16 in Warrington and then crossed the English Channel to thrash a French side 48–2 in Bordeaux. Bradford played host the England versus New Zealand match, in which England won comfortably 27–12.
At the start of November, England squeezed past Australia winning 16–13 in November at Wigan. This meant that the Kangaroos had finished on 13 points, with the Lions on 12 points. Australia were deemed champions by finishing top of the table, but because they had not beaten England a final match was quickly arranged. Australia beat England 25–0 at Leeds to clinch their fourth title.
With the break up of the Great Britain team into its individual nations, England (as co-host) were in the 1995 World Cup, their first appearance in the World Cup since 1975. England were coached by Phil Larder. The Lions got off to a flying start beating Australia 20–16 in the opening game at Wembley, then hammering Fiji and South Africa in the remaining group games to finish top of group A. This set up a semi-final game at Old Trafford against Wales. England won the tussle 25–10 to reach the World Cup final, but they lost 16–8 to Australia at Wembley Stadium. England would not play again until 2000.
The 1995 World Cup saw the first change of the England strip in a number of years. Instead of the usual all-white kit, an offset red St George's Cross was added to both the front and back of the jumper.
John Kear was coach of England for the World Cup in 2000. Compared to 1995, England had little success, losing their opening game at Twickenham 22–2 against Australia. But they won their remaining two pool games against Fiji and Russia. A surprisingly competitive display by Ireland in the quarter-finals, saw England scrape through to the semi-finals 26–16. England then went down to a record defeat, losing 49–6 to New Zealand at Bolton, and were knocked out of the tournament.
Australian born, Tony Smith, took charge of England in 2008. His first game was against France in Toulouse where the English won 56–8. In his second game, England were missing St Helens and Leeds Rhinos players but the team still created history with a record 74–0 win over Wales in Doncaster. It was England's biggest win recorded over the Welsh since 1978.It was World Cup year, and Smith announced his ambitions that he wanted England to win their first World Cup, since 1972, when Great Britain represented the country at the event. In the event they were placed in Group A alongside hosts Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. England faced a scare in their opening game against Papua New Guinea, as Smith's men were trailing 12–16 at halftime, but they did go on to win the game. England were humiliated in their second game against the hosts, suffering their biggest defeat to date, beating their 43-point margin against New Zealand eight years ago. In their final pool game against New Zealand, they produced a much better performance but for only 28 minutes, as they gave up a 24–8 lead to lose 24–36. Before, and during the match, England were accusing New Zealand of being soft, however, after the match, media outlets were calling England the biggest losers of the tournament. Controversy also occurred before the game kicked off, when England refused to face New Zealand's haka challenge. Smith said 'In some cultures poking your tongue out at others could be seen as insulting and the Kiwis pushed things too far by crossing into England’s side of halfway.' They took on New Zealand again in the semi-final. This time they never had the lead over the Kiwis, as they lost the match by 10 points. After rumours Smith would be sacked from his position, the RFL announced they'd keep faith in Smith for the remainder of his contract. The World Cup players took the blame for their performances.
After the World Cup nightmare, England began 2009 on a high-note with a record breaking 54 point away win over France.Later that year, England were co-hosts of the year's major international tournament, the inaugural Four Nations. After thrashing them earlier in the year, England faced a shock half-time deficit in their opening game against a French side coached by former Great Britain international Bobbie Goulding. But despite trailing at the interval, England scored 30 consecutive points to record another victory over 'Les Tricolores'. In the second match against Australia, England impressively kept Australia scoreless in the second-half, and staged a second-half comeback. However it wasn't enough, as Smith's men needed to recover from a 26-point half-time deficit. They then took on New Zealand and, after losing to them twice at last year's World Cup, England earned revenge with an 8-point win over the Kiwis. England then went on to make the final to face Australia. In the final England, at one point, led 16–14 and were credited with how they were able to produce a real contest. However, in the final quarter of the game, Australia dominated proceedings and eventually went on to win 46–16. On 16 November 2009, a few hours after crediting that the England national team had a bright future in rugby league, Smith resigned from the English national side.
Following Tony Smiths resignation, former Bradford Bulls head coach Steve McNamara was given the job. His first game in charge of England was against France in Leigh. England thrashed the French to keep their impressive winning run going over their opponents that dates back to 1981. McNamara also fielded the first brothers, Sam and Joel Tomkins, to start on the field for England since Paul and David Hulme represented Great Britain in 1989.
The following year, England co-hosted the 2011 Four Nations with Wales. Their opening game was a win against Wales where Sam Tomkins scored a record-equalling four tries in one game. The win meant England kept their impressive record of not losing on home soil against Wales since 1977. A loss the following week to Australia at Wembley meant that they had to beat New Zealand to make the final, which they did. In the final, England at one point were tied at 8–8, but they would be outclassed again. England were held 'try-less' in the second half as Australia won by 22 points.
In mid-2012, the second International Origin series was held. The Exiles had won the first series in 2011 after Samoan International, George Carmont, scored a try with less than 40 seconds remaining to win the game for the Exiles. England won their first ever International Origin series game, after winning game 1 of the 2012 series, held in St Helens, by 8 points. However the Exiles would win the 2012 series after recording a bigger winning margin in game 2. In October and November that year, England competed in the Autumn Internationals where they took on Wales, and France. In their first game, England racked up their biggest points tally against Wales, as they thrashed 'the Red Dragons' 80–12 in Wrexham.In their second game against France, fullback Sam Tomkins became England's top try scorer when he scored his 14th try for England, breaking the record set by former Wigan and St Helens winger Alf Ellaby in 1935. In the final, England had a rematch with France at Salford City Stadium. England thrashed their opponents to win their first tournament title since the 2004 European Nations Cup.
In the lone 2013 International Origin game, England thrashed their opponents by 20 points. At the end of the year, the 2013 World Cup was held in England and Wales. England, who were now known as the 'Wall of White', featured a new record of three brothers in their squad: Sam and twins George and Tom Burgess. England played their first game against Australia in Cardiff. England got off to a surprising early lead for many, when they were up 10–0 after 20 minutes. England, however, went on to lose in what was one of their best displays against the Kangaroos in years, losing 20–28. They then went on to thrash Ireland to nil in front of a record crowd in Huddersfield, in a game which saw Ryan Hall become the new England top try-scorer after a hat-trick took him to tally 17 total tries for his country. England also beat a determined Fiji, in front a sold-out crowd at the KC Stadium, to advance to the quarter-finals. They took on European rivals, France, in Wigan and, after trailing 0–6 early, England went on to advance to the semi-finals to meet defending World Champions, New Zealand, at Wembley. The game was a see-saw affair, which saw England leading 18–14 with one minute on the clock remaining, until New Zealand play-maker Shaun Johnson produced a historical moment, to level the scores, and then convert his try after the siren, to win the match, and make the Kiwis advance to a third consecutive World Cup Final. This was the first time England, or Great Britain, had lost to New Zealand in England since 2005.
In October and November 2014, England travelled down-under to play in the 2014 Four Nations. In the opening game, England took on Samoa in an affair which saw the lead change several times. In the end, England survived a shock result occurring after winning by 6 points. In the second game against Australia, controversy occurred. Australia led 16–12 with one minute left on the clock. England player, Liam Farrell, put a grubber-kick in the in-goal area, which forced Australian fullback, Greg Inglis, to force the ball dead, however, the video referees decided to have a look and see whether or not Inglis or the incoming Ryan Hall got the last touch on the ball. On the slow-motion replays, it showed that Ryan Hall's right hand's little finger had put some downward pressure on the ball, however, in normal speed, it was deemed 'inconclusive' by Australian officiating rules. It was eventually given a no-try to the anger of English players and fans. Ryan complained on Twitter, saying "Looking at the video, I’d say it was a try if we’re playing Super League rules..." Had Hall scored, and England converted, it would have been England's first win over Australia since 1995, the first time Australia suffered back-to-back home defeats since 1970 and the first time Australia did not qualify for a tournament final since the 1954 World Cup final.England lost their final game against New Zealand and, in the process, ended any chance of qualifying for their first Four Nations final in the Southern Hemisphere.
In 2015, England took on New Zealand in a three match series held in England. Before the series, England recorded their biggest ever win over France, beating their previous 73–6 win in 1996.England beat New Zealand 2–1 in the Baskerville Series to retain the trophy that Great Britain last won in 2007. During that series vice-captain, James Graham, reached the milestone of becoming England's most capped player, surpassing Kevin Sinfield's record of 27 test appearances. Despite the series victory, McNamara was facing scrutiny beforehand and the RFL decided not to renew his contract which expired after the series. McNamara therefore left the England national team.
Following McNamara's contract expiration, the RFL appointed Australian Wayne Bennett on a 2-year contract, with a view to win the 2017 World Cup. Bennett's first request as coach was for England to have a pre-season training camp, a mid-season international in 2017, as well as shortening the 2017 Super League season in order to prepare for the 2017 World Cup. RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood accepted Bennett's first two demands, but said shortening the domestic season is a "big disturbance in lots of ways..."Bennett's plans suffered criticism from some professional club coaches. Bennett's first match was against France in Perpignan, in preparation for the 2016 Four Nations. Despite trailing, and being held scoreless in the first 26 minutes, England did go on to avoid an upset, convincingly beating the French and giving Bennett a successful return to the International scene, 8 years after he left the New Zealand assistant coach role. However England went onto having a disappointing Four Nations, losing the opening game to New Zealand, facing a scare against Scotland, before going on to lose a 'must-win' game against Australia. This marked the first time that England failed to qualify for a Four Nations final while being hosts.
At the end of 2016, Bennett announced that the England pre-season 'heat training camp' in Dubai would be cancelled after taking in the consideration of domestic coaches' concerns.Instead of a pre-season training camp, Bennett and the English coaching staff chose an Elite Performance Squad of players, based in England, who would be scouted regularly throughout the 2017 season. The squad trained six times throughout the season in England.
England's first game of 2017 was a convincing result over Samoa, although Bennett came under criticism of his selections for the test-match. Former Great Britain captain Garry Schofield, along with other former players, media, and fans were angered by Bennett's decision to include Australian born players Chris McQueen and Chris Heighington, who are eligible to play through their English fathers. Heighington's age was also a talking point. At the age of 35, it was suggested younger players such as Liam Farrell, Alex Walmsley, Mark Percival, and Scott Taylor, should have been selected instead.Bennett only named one Australian, Chris Heighnington, in his England team for the World Cup, while Zak Hardaker missed out due to a drugs ban. England's first game of the World Cup was against Australia. Although they were credited throughout the match for the way they were able to defend and prevent the Australians from dominating the game like they have in the past they again failed to beat Australia. Despite the defeat, England continued their way through the tournament with convincing victories over Lebanon, France, finishing second in Group A. They then went on to beat Papua New Guinea convincingly in the quarter finals before reaching the semi-finals where they would take on Tonga who had knocked New Zealand out the week before. England led 20–0, with seven minutes left on the clock, before the Tongans began an unpredictable and nerve-wracking comeback for England. With less than one minute left on the clock, Andrew Fifita lost control of the ball before regathering it and putting it over the try-line, only to realise the referee had already blown his whistle. The referee was criticised for not going to the Video Referee and if awarded would have seen that Tonga won the game and reached their first ever World Cup final. Despite the controversy, England were victorious and had advanced to their first World Cup Final in 22 Years. England met Australia again in the final but again failed to beat Australia, for a 13th consecutive time, since their last win in the 1995 World Cup group stage. England lost in the lowest World Cup final score in the history of the tournament. Bennets contract expired at the end of the World Cup and despite not winning the tournament he was rewarded with another 2-year contract.
England traditionally play in white while they occasionally play in a red away kit but colour clashes are rare and they rarely wear an away kit.
While there original strip was white with red hoops, in the 1975 World Cup they played in a fully white kit. It wasn't until 1995 when they began wearing their iconic cross on the front of their kit.
|Early Strip||1975 WC||1995 WC||2000 WC||2008 WC||2011-2012|
|2013 WC||2014-2016||2017 WC||2018-|
|2000-2007||Patrick||Lincoln Financial Group|
|2016-2017||Kingstone Press Cider|
From the 1995 Rugby League World cup, it was used a crest with the St. George's cross, the Three Lions Coat of Arms of England and Tudor rose. It was similar to most other English sporting badges, such as the England national football team and the English national cricket team which all promote similar attributes. Until the mid 1990s, England simply used a red Rampant lion as crest.
The new official logo was launched on 6 February 2008 on the rugby league magazine programme Boots N' All. The cross of St George is positioned across a three-dimensional shield within the design. The date "1895" is placed through the centre of the cross, symbolising the birth of rugby league. Many people involved in the sport were consulted throughout the design process, which took a little under a year. The logo was first used for the 2008 World Cup and was replaced in 2017.
As part of a rebrand across all of the RFL in 2017, a new England crest was introduced. It is a merge of both the shield crest and the old lions crest. It has the St. Georges cross on the background with three lions in front of it.
The BBC have the rights to screen all England games. They showed every game England competed in at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, as well as all their Four Nations, and Baskerville Shield games.
|First team coach|
The England national team squad for the 2018 autumn internationals.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Pts||Club|
|Fullback||Stefan Ratchford||19 July 1988||5||8|
|Fullback||Sam Tomkins||23 March 1989||25||74|
|Wing||Tom Johnstone||13 August 1995||1||12|
|Wing||Tommy Makinson||12 March 1991||4||16|
|Wing||Jermaine McGillvary||16 May 1988||16||48|
|Centre||Jake Connor||2 October 1994||4||34|
|Centre||Oliver Gildart||6 August 1996||3||4|
|Centre||Reece Lyne||2 December 1992||1||0|
|Centre||Mark Percival||29 May 1994||5||10|
|Stand-off||Jonny Lomax||4 September 1990||9||0|
|Stand-off||George Williams||31 October 1994||10||4|
|Scrum-half||Richie Myler||21 May 1990||7||50|
|Prop||George Burgess||21 April 1992||15||8|
|Prop||Tom Burgess||21 April 1992||24||8|
|Prop||James Graham||10 September 1985||43||12|
|Prop||Chris Hill||3 November 1987||28||0|
|Prop||Luke Thompson||27 April 1995||4||4|
|Hooker||Daryl Clark||10 February 1993||8||4|
|Hooker||Josh Hodgson||31 October 1989||18||12|
|Second-row||John Bateman||30 September 1993||15||20|
|Second-row||Joe Greenwood||2 April 1993||0||0|
|Second-row||Elliott Whitehead||4 September 1989||19||36|
|Lock||Adam Milner||19 December 1991||3||0|
|Lock||Sean O'Loughlin (Captain)||24 November 1982||24||20|
England have played 207 games in their history, with the first being played in 1904. The team have only been playing regularly since 1995, playing 91 of their games from then up to and including the third test of the 2018 Baskerville Shield against New Zealand. This means that in the preceding 91 years before 1995, the team played just 116 games. The reason for this lack of games is because the home nations were represented by Great Britain for most of the 20th century, playing 322 games. England and the other home nations mainly only played in the European Cup while England and Wales regularly played friendlies in the earlier decades of the 20th century. If games played by the Great Britain team are taken into account, English players have actually taken part in 529 games between 1904 and 2018 up to and including the third Baskerville Shield test of 2018.
England have played 21 different teams over their history with 6 of these being representative teams. They hold a 0% win record against only one national team, Italy, by whom they were beaten 14-15 in a friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford as a warm-up to the 2013 World Cup. England have played Wales the most, with 69 games played, winning 50 of these. Because the home nations were represented by Great Britain for most of their history England have only played Ireland 3 times and Scotland once.
England played their 207th game when they took on New Zealand in the third 2018 test at Elland Road, Leeds.
England have competed six times in the World Cup; in 1975, 1995, 2000, 2008, 2013 and 2017. They have never won the competition, though finished runners-up to Australia in 1975, 1995 and 2017. In every other year, Great Britain have represented England. Despite having only played in 6 world cups, England have hosted matches in 8 different tournaments including 3 that took part internationally. England have played 33 games in the world cup; winning 19, drawing 2 and losing 12. Of those losses, only one has been against a team other than New Zealand or Australia, when Wales won 7-12 in the 1975 tournament. England lost out on reaching the final in 2013, when New Zealand beat them 20-18 after Shaun Johnson scored a conversion in the last 30 seconds of the game to secure the win. England reached the world cup final in 2017 but were beaten by Australia with a score of just 6-0.
|World Cup Record|
|Did not enter|
|Final||2nd out of 5||9||5||2||2|
|Did not enter|
|Final||2nd out of 10||5||4||0||1|
|Semi-final||4th out of 16||5||3||0||2|
|Semi-final||3rd out of 10||4||1||0||3|
|Semi-final||3rd out of 14||5||3||0||2|
|Final||2nd out of 14||6||4||0||2|
England replaced Great Britain in competing in the Rugby League Four Nations which replaced the previous Tri Nations tournament. They have been runners up twice in 2009 and 2011, these two tournaments also having been hosted by England.
|Four Nations Record|
|Final||2nd out of 4||5|
|Group Stage||3rd out of 4||4|
|Final||2nd out of 4||5|
|Group Stage||3rd out of 4||4|
|Group Stage||3rd out of 4||4|
England have competed in twenty-six European Nations Cups, the first in 1935. In the past the tournament has been axed and revived many times, and it was stopped for six years because of the Second World War. From 1935 to 1949 (minus the war years) England played France and Wales annually, and won the tournament in 1935, 1946, 1947 and 1948. From 1950 to 1956 an Other Nationalities team were added as the fourth team in the competition (except in 1956 when Wales did not field a team). During those years England won in 1950 and 1954. Since then the tournament has run for some seasons, but never for more than five years at a time. But from 1970 to 1996 England won it six out of a possible nine times. In 2003 the tournament was revived and England comfortably won, beating her old rivals plus Scotland, Ireland and Russia. England beat the same opponents to win the cup again in 2004. This was the last time England competed to give the competition more of a level playing field for other teams, however the England Knights competed in 2012.
|European Championship Record|
|1935||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1935-36||Group Stage||2nd out of 3||2|
|1936-37||Group Stage||2nd out of 3||2|
|1938||Group Stage||3rd out of 3||2|
|1938-39||Group Stage||2nd out of 3||2|
|1945-46||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1946-47||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1947-48||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1948-49||Group Stage||2nd out of 3||2|
|1949-50||Winners||1st out of 4||3|
|1950-51||Group Stage||3rd out of 4||3|
|1951-52||Group Stage||2nd out of 4||3|
|1952-53||Group Stage||3rd out of 4||3|
|1953-54||Winners||1st out of 4||3|
|1955-56||Group Stage||3rd out of 3||2|
|1969-70||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1975||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1977||Group Stage||3rd out of 3||2|
|1978||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1979||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1980||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|1981||Group Stage||2nd out of 3||2|
|1995||Group Stage||2nd out of 3||2|
|1996||Winners||1st out of 3||2|
|2003||Winners||1st out of 6||3|
|2004||Winners||1st out of 6||3|
|Official Rankings as of December 2018|
|*Change from July 2018|
World Cup :
Runners-up (3): 1975, 1995, 2017
Semi-finalists (3): 2000, 2008, 2013
Four Nations :
Runners-up (2): 2009, 2011
European Championship :
Winners (14):1935, 1945–46, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1949–50, 1953–54, 1969–70, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1996, 2003, 2004
Federation Shield :
Winners (1): 2006
Baskerville Shield :
Winners (1): 2015, 2018
|2013 World Cup Semi-Final||67,545||Wembley Stadium, London||23 November 2013|
|1995 World Cup Final||66,540||Old Wembley, London||28 October 1995|
|1995 World Cup Semi-Final||30,042||Old Trafford, Manchester||21 October 1995|
|1995 World Cup Group Stage||26,263||Central Park, Wigan||11 October 1995|
|2013 World Cup Group Stage||24,375||John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield||2 November 2013|
|2013 World Cup Quarter-Final||22,276||DW Stadium, Wigan||16 November 2013|
|2016 Four Nations Round-Robin||21,009||Ricoh Arena, Coventry||5 November 2016|
|1995 World Cup Group Stage||14,014||Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds||14 October 1995|
|2000 World Cup Group Stage||5,736||Knowsley Road, St. Helens||1 November 2000|
|Federation Shield||5,698||KC Stadium, Hull||5 November 2006|
|Friendly||4,382||Salford City Stadium, Salford||19 October 2013|
|Federation Shield||3,000||Halton Stadium, Widnes||12 November 2006|
|2013 World Cup Semi-Final||67,545||Wembley Stadium, London||23 November 2013|
|1995 World Cup Final||66,540||Old Wembley, London||28 October 1995|
|2015 Baskerville Shield||44,393||Olympic Stadium, London||7 November 2015|
|2011 Four Nations Round Robin||42,344||Wembley Stadium, London||5 November 2011|
|1995 World Cup Group Stage||41,271||Old Wembley, London||7 October 1995|
|2016 Four Nations Round Robin||35,569||Olympic Stadium, London||13 November 2016|
|2011 Four Nations Final||34,174||Elland Road, Leeds||19 November 2011|
|2000 World Cup Group Stage||33,758||Twickenham, London||28 October 2000|
|2018 Baskerville Shield||32,186||Elland Road, Leeds||11 November 2018|
|2009 Four Nations Final||31,042||Elland Road, Leeds||14 November 2009|
In 2011 the England Knights were created to serve as a step up for the younger players from their club in view of playing for the 1st team. A squad of players were chosen (below the age of 25) to represent the Knights in a few games. Their first ever game was against France and the Knights came out 38–18 victors.
The Knights won the 2012 European Cup by beating Ireland and Scotland in a 3-game tournament.
The following players played for England and are either British Rugby League Hall of Fame inductees, or are one of the top five caps, tries, goals, or points scorers for England. Although both Gus Risman, and Jim Sullivan were Welsh, they are British Rugby League Hall of Fame inductees, and actually played for England, as well as for Wales and Great Britain. British Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee Vince Karalius was English (of Lithuanian heritage), and although he played for Great Britain, he never played for England, as England games were limited in his playing era.
The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
The Australia national rugby union team, nicknamed the Wallabies, is controlled by Rugby Australia. The team first played at Sydney in 1899, winning their first test match against the touring British Isles team.
The Ireland men's national rugby league team, known as the Wolfhounds, is organised by Rugby League Ireland. The representative team is dominated by players from the Super League and sometimes includes players from the Australasian National Rugby League. Ireland is also represented by an Ireland A side, which is made up of players from the domestic Irish competition.
The Scotland national rugby union team is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship and participates in the Rugby World Cup, which takes place every four years. As of 18 March 2019, Scotland are 7th in the World Rugby Rankings.
The Wales national rugby union team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship with England, France, Ireland, Italy and Scotland. Wales have won the Six Nations and its predecessors 27 times outright. Wales' most recent championship and Grand Slam victory came in 2019.
The 1991 Rugby World Cup was the second edition of the Rugby World Cup, and was jointly hosted by England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France: at the time, the five European countries who participated in the Five Nations Championship. This was the first Rugby World Cup to be staged in the northern hemisphere, with England the hosts of the championship game. Following on from the success of the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup, the 1991 World Cup received increased attention and was seen as a major global sporting event for the first time. Also for the first time, qualifying competitions were introduced as the number of entrants had increased from 16 nations four years before to a total of 33 countries. The eight quarter-finalists from 1987 qualified automatically with the remaining eight spots contested through qualifiers by 25 countries. This however resulted in only one new side qualifying for the tournament, Western Samoa replacing Tonga. The same 16-team pool/knock-out format was used with just minor changes to the points system.
The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. They are ranked third in the world by World Rugby as of 18 March 2019. The team competes annually in the current Six Nations Championship, which they have won fourteen times outright and shared nine times in its various formats. The team also competes every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions. Ireland is also one of the four unions that make up the British and Irish Lions – players eligible to play for Ireland are also eligible for the Lions.
The France national rugby union team competes annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright seventeen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed nine grand slams. Ten former French players have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. France are currently ranked 8th in the World Rugby Rankings as of March 18th 2019.
The Papua New Guinea national rugby league team represents Papua New Guinea in the sport of rugby league football.
The Fiji national rugby union team competes every four years at the Rugby World Cup, and their best performances were the 1987 and 2007 tournaments when they defeated Argentina and Wales respectively to reach the quarterfinals. Fiji also regularly plays test matches during the June and November test windows. Fiji also plays in the Pacific Tri-Nations, and has won the most Pacific Tri-Nations Championships of the three participating teams.
The Canada national rugby union team is governed by Rugby Canada, and play in red and white. Canada is classified by World Rugby as a tier two rugby nation. There are ten tier one nations, and thirteen tier two nations. Canada competes in competitions such as the Americas Rugby Championship and the Rugby World Cup.
The Lebanon national rugby league team is the representative side of Lebanon in rugby league football. It is the top tier team of the Lebanese Rugby League Federation. They are nicknamed "The Cedars" after the Lebanon Cedar tree, which is also on the Lebanese flag. The team has been participating in international competition since 1998. The team was originally formed in New South Wales, Australia, composed of Lebanese Australians. But their success has helped the game grow in Lebanon and now players are also taken from the newly formed Lebanon Championship as well as the National Rugby League in Australia.
The 1993 Rugby World Cup Sevens was held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Scotland, in April 1993. This tournament was the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament. The International Rugby Board invited the established rugby union nations but also were keen to involve emerging nations in the event, recognising the fact that Sevens was providing the bridge between the developed rugby nations and those whose rugby union traditions were less well established.
The Rugby League Four Nations, known as the Ladbrokes Four Nations for sponsorship, is a biennial rugby league football tournament run in partnership between the Australian Rugby League Commission, Rugby Football League and New Zealand Rugby League representing the top three nations in the sport: Australia, England and New Zealand. The tournament replaced the previous Tri-Nations format by including a fourth nation that qualifies by winning their respective regional competition in a rotation between Europe and the South Pacific. France accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural tournament in 2009. The tournament is sponsored by Ladbrokes and therefore officially known as the Ladbrokes Four Nations. No tournament was contested in 2012 to allow teams to prepare for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Originally planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Union and Rugby World Cup Limited. The pre-event favourites were England, regarded by many at the time as the best team in the world. New Zealand, France, South Africa and defending champions Australia were also expected to make strong showings, with New Zealand being second favourites after victory in the southern-hemisphere Tri-Nations championship.