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France v England Touch Flag, 1910

France v England touch flag, 1910

Photo:World Rugby Museum

This month sees the beginning of the Six Nations Championship, and to mark this we have selected an important object relating to the history of the tournament as our object of the month.

Between 1883 and 1909 the Home Unions (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) played each other in a series of friendly matches on an annual basis. In 1910 France joined in this series, playing matches against all of the Home Union teams, beginning what became known as the Five Nations Championship. Up until the early 1990s there was no trophy for this tournament. Rugby was still an amateur sport, and the idea of official competitions was frowned upon by many. The tournament became known as the Six Nations Championship in 2000 when Italy joined.

This touch flag is from the match between France and England, which was played at Parc des Princes in Paris on 3rd March 1910. This was France’s first ever home match in this Championship. Despite an impressive French performance, England won by 1 goal and 2 tries to France’s 1 try.