England will wear a special heritage jersey when they face the Kangaroos in Melbourne on Sunday.
The team will wear a special red and white hooped jersey, replicating that worn by the Northern Union team when they defeated Australia in 1914, in the iconic ‘Rorke’s Drift Test’.
That was when a Northern Union team, hampered by a crippling injury list and a short tournaround between test matches, was reduced to 11 men, thanks to injury.
Despite that, the British team, led by Harold Wagstaff, won the game 14-6. Their courage in adversity led to the game being named after the famous Zulu War battle, when British troops held off overwhelming odds at Rorke’s Drift in Natal.
“It’s always an honour and a privilege to represent your country but to do so against Australia in a jersey which commemorates such an important event in the sport’s history is going to be even more special,” said England skipper Sean O’Loughlin.
“All the players and staff are acutely aware of the fantastic tradition of sporting feats between England and Australia and this jersey will bring 100 years of rivalry out of the history books and on to the pitch.
“None of us will need extra incentive on Sunday but the chance to pull on the Rorke’s Drift jersey is one the whole squad is longing to grab with both hands.”
The jersey has been produced by ISC and is available for sale in limited numbers from Advantage Sports in Hull, Down Under Leisure in Wigan and Lovell Rugby – www.lovell-rugby.co.uk/