The Auld Alliance trophy was commissioned in 2018 by Scottish Rugby and the French Rugby Federation (FFR) in tribute to the courageous rugby players from the two nations who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War, and to celebrate the historic relationship between Scotland and France.
It specifically commemorates the captains of the two nations in the last matches played before the First World War – Eric Milroy (Scotland) and Marcel Burgun (France), both of whom perished in the conflict.
It is also a tribute to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In all, 22 French and 30 Scottish internationals were killed in action, along with countless other club players from both nations.
The driving force for the creation of the trophy was Patrick Caublot from Amiens Rugby Club in France, who worked alongside David Anderson QC, a great-great nephew of Eric Milroy, in promoting the concept to both the FFR and Scottish Rugby.
The trophy is to be contested once more on Friday, 26th March at the Stade de France as Scotland take on France in the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Tournament.
The two nations first met on the rugby pitch in 1910, when the two teams played against each other in Edinburgh. Scotland won the match 27–0. Since then there have been a total of 97 games played, resulting in 56 wins for France, 38 wins for Scotland and 3 draws.
One of the most remarkable matches in the history of international rugby took place between the two sides in Paris on 1st January 1920. This was not only the first official international played after the First World War, it was also the first time back in country colours for a number of players on both sides after serving during the conflict.
French sources have christened this meeting “Le match des borgnes”, as it is believed that five of the 30 players on the field lost an eye in the war. The match was played in mud and driving rain, with Scotland winning 5-0.
Since the creation of the Auld Alliance Trophy, there have been three meetings of the two teams, with Scotland winning twice and France once, with a total of 70 points scored by each side, so expectations are high for a competitive and exciting match.
The Auld Alliance Trophy was designed and made by world-renowned trophy makers Thomas Lyte. Using traditional silversmithing and goldsmithing skills combined with leading-edge modern methods, the team at Thomas Lyte are experts in the fields of custom trophy design and manufacture, and is responsible for some of the world’s most iconic sporting trophies, including the Rugby World Cup’s Webb Ellis trophy, the Emirates FA Cup, the Davis Cup trophy and the Guinness Six Nations trophy.