150 years of history celebrated in trophy refurbishment
Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors today marked 150 years of intercity rivalry with the unveiling of a replenished 1872 Cup trophy and commemorative plinth, as well as confirming the definitive ‘head-to-head’ of world rugby’s oldest intercity rivalry.
The sides first met on 23 November 1872 when Glasgow District met an Edinburgh District select at Burnbank in Glasgow. The match – played by teams of 20-a-side – was won by an Edinburgh drop-goal to nil, giving the men from the capital first victory.
The fixture has been contested annually ever since – save for five and six-year absences during WW1 and WW2 respectively – and is a cornerstone of Scottish rugby history.
In 2007 the intercity contest was rebranded by the two sides in recognition of the historic derby, with ‘The 1872 Cup’ inaugurated in honour of that very first fixture.
Some 15 years on, Edinburgh Rugby sought the help of Hamilton & Inches – creators of both the Doddie Weir Cup and Cuttitta Cup – to begin a project of restoration and refurbishment that would revitalise the trophy but also retain the charm of the claret jug.
The 1872 Cup will now rest upon a newly commissioned three-tier plinth of European oak, the overall winners from 1872 to 2021 etched in silver – Edinburgh taking inter-city honours 70 times to Glasgow’s 52, with 15 draws.
Douglas Struth, Edinburgh Rugby Managing Director, said: “It is with a great sense of pride that we present a revitalised trophy that now celebrates the distinguished history of this fixture, as we continue to celebrate the 150th anniversary for the fixture and representative rugby the capital.
“Years of celebrations have taken their toll on the silverware so, as we continue to celebrate this special anniversary, the time was right to have it refurbished and give it the respect it deserves.”
He added: “The trophy itself is relatively new in the context of the fixture however it still has a great deal of history earned over the past two decades. Our aim therefore was to augment rather than alter the trophy, out of respect for the contest’s modern history.
“We’re delighted with the finish and believe we now have a trophy befitting this fantastic, historic occasion.”
The revitalised trophy will be in pride of place at Scotstoun Stadium for the opening derby this Frifay night (23 December, kick-off 7.35pm) before returning to BT Murrayfeld for the deciding fixture on Friday 30 December (kick-off 7.35pm), where it will ultimately be presented to the victor on aggregate points.
Edinburgh, as holders, will retain the trophy in the event of a draw over the two games.