England will wear the retro inspired kit in their game against Scotland on 6 February

The Rugby Football Union, which is the oldest rugby body in the world, has celebrated the 150th anniversary of the formation of the England team with a special edition kit. England will wear the vintage kit on 6 February when they welcome Scotland to Twickenham for the opening game of their Six Nations Championship defence.

Formed in 1871, England played Scotland in the first ever international rugby Test match at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh on 27 March, with the Scots emerging 1-0 winners. The kit will pay homage to that era, with England Rugby’s Official Technical Kit Partner, Umbro, creating the one-off jersey.

“The clean design features England’s heritage rose, and a gold embroidered 1871-2021 sign off”, state kit designers Umbro. “In agreement with England Rugby’s Principal partner O2, their mark has been moved to the sleeve to support the heritage aesthetic”.

England 150th anniversary kits

Retro inspired: two versions of the kit are on offer (Umbro)

Bill Sweeney, CEO , England Rugby said: “We are extremely proud to be celebrating 150 years of rugby union in England and the iconic red rose. Umbro has created a terrific anniversary kit and I look forward to seeing Eddie Jones’ side wearing this when they take to the pitch against Scotland in February. We’d also like to extend our thanks to O2 for agreeing to give up their front of shirt position on this special one-off heritage jersey.”

Short and long-sleeve replica versions of the jersey are available to purchase, as well as a ‘classic jersey’ that features a polo collar instead of the crew neck.

Social media reaction

The reaction to the England 150th anniversary kit has been mixed, with fans both praising and lambasting it on social media. Some fans have loved the new kit, with the clean aesthetics providing a more simplistic design. However, keeping the O2 sponsorship, albeit on the sleeve, and altering the appearance of the rose, has faced backlash.

Eddie Jones will be looking to retain the Six Nations in 2021, and claim the fourth Championship of his reign at the helm of English Rugby. He is permitted to name just 28 players in his squad for the upcoming tournament, which will be announced Friday 22 January.

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