Cook Cup

Cook Cup

The Cook Cup is a rugby union trophy that is contested between Australia and England. Australia won the first ever Cook Cup match against England. The cup was established in 1997 when the Wallabies and England contracted to play each other bi-annually for a decade, playing matches on a home and away basis. The cup is named after Captain James Cook, representing a strong English-Australian connection. The cup, which was designed by Royal Doulton in London, is made from crystal.

Pre-Cook Cup

The first test between England and Australia was played on January 9 in 1909 at Blackheath's Rectory Field in England The Wallabies won the match nine points to three. The two nations next met in 1928, at Twickenham, and England won 18 points to 11. Twenty years passed and England and Australia met again at Twickenham in 1948, with Australia winning the affair 11 points to nil. It would then be another decade until the two nations played another test against one another. In 1958, they met again at Twickenham, and England won nine points to six.

England and Australia played each other twice during the 1960s, first in 1963, when the Wallabies defeated England 18 to nine at Sydney's Sports Ground. They met again in 1967 and England went down 11 to 23 at Twickenham. The nations played each other another five times during the 1970s; with England winning 20 to three at Twickeham in 1973, Australia winning 16 to nine at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1975 and again that year 30 to 21 at Ballymore, and England winning in 1976, 23 to six at Twickenham.

The two nations would meet six times during the 1980s, the first encounter was in 1982, with England defeating Australia 15 to 11 at Twickenham. Two years later the Wallabies were victorious at Twickenham, winning 19 to three. The next match was played at Sydney's Concord Oval in 1987, with Australia winning 19 to six. The nations played again in 1988, the countries play each other three times; Australia winning 22 to 16 at Ballymore, and again, 28 to eight at Concord Oval, with a third match being played at Twickenham which England won 28 to 19.

The sides met three times during the 1990s before the Cook Cup was introduced. The first match was in 1991 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and Australia won 40 to 15. Another match was played that year at Twickenham, and the Wallabies won 12 to six. The last pre-Cook Cup match was a part of the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, and was played at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. England won 25 to 22.


The Cook Cup came about when the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) agreed to play each other on a home-and-away basis. The first Cook Cup match was played at Sydney's Aussie Stadium on June 25, 1997. Australia won the match 25 to six. The series was however to be decided through two tests, and the second took place at Twickenham in London, this resulted in a 15-all draw. Since Australia won the first test, they were crowned champions.

In 1998 Australia ran out 76 to nil winners at Lang Park in Brisbane. The Wallabies were captained by John Eales, and in total, Australia produced 11 tries. The subsequent meeting at Twickenham saw England lose by just one point, the score being 12 to 11. The following year, the Cook Cup was decided through one match as opposed to the two Tests. The reason for the format change is due to the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Australia defeated England 22 points to 15 at Stadium Australia. The following year, the Cook Cup was again contested over the single match, due to the 2001 British Lions tour to Australia. The match was played at Twickenham, and England won 22 to 19 to win their first Cook Cup.

The single-test format remained for 2002, and England successfully defended their Cook Cup by beating Australia by just one point, 32 to 31 at Twickenham. For 2003, the Cook Cup was again decided over one match, due to the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The match was played at Melbourne's Telstra Dome, and England won 25 to 14. Also that year, the two nations met in what is arguably one of their most famous encounters ever, at the World Cup final. Jonny Wilkinson landed a drop goal in extra time that saw England win the Rugby World Cup.

The post-World Cup match between England and Australia was played at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, which saw Australia win 51 to 15. The 2004 Cook Cup was contested over two matches. So the second game was played at Twickenham, and Australia won 21 to 19, which saw the Wallabies win the Cook Cup. The 2005 Cook Cup was decided by the one test, and England won 26 to 16 at Twickenham. In 2006 both games were won by Australia.


Year Winner Home Score Away Date Venue
1997 Australia 25 - 6 England 12 July Aussie Stadium, Sydney
England 15 - 15 Australia 15 November Twickenham, London
1998 Australia 76 - 0 England 6 June Lang Park, Brisbane
England 11 - 12 Australia 28 November Twickenham, London
1999 Australia 22 - 15 England 26 June Telstra Stadium, Sydney
2000 England 22 - 19 Australia 18 November Twickenham, London
2001 England 21 - 15 Australia 10 November Twickenham, London
2002 England 32 - 31 Australia 16 November Twickenham, London
2003 Australia 14 - 25 England 21 June Telstra Dome, Melbourne
2004 Australia 51 - 15 England 26 June Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
England 19 - 21 Australia 27 November Twickenham, London
2005 England 26 - 16 Australia 12 November Twickenham, London
2006 Australia 34 - 3 England 11 June Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Australia 43 - 18 England 17 June Telstra Dome, Melbourne

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