My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

The Cultural Rivalry Between Wales and England

There’s always been a rivalry between England and Wales. Whether it’s football, rugby, or even a debate on living in Wrexham compared to Chester, the competition between the two nations has always been somewhat fiery.

Believe it or not there are even debates as to who was first to introduce a casino, Wales or England? We can answer that one for you. It was Wales. Ok so Crockford’s in London has been around since 1823, but it was initially a Gentleman’s club with no gambling involved. In the 1920’s, after becoming more of a Bridge Club, casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and poker were then introduced. But, and there’s a big but, it wasn’t legal. That’s where Wales comes in.

The coastal town of Port Talbot can claim the accolade of having the very first legal casino in the UK. The Casino Club it was called. Very original. It was established in 1961 by George Alfred James who was a gambling mogul at the time.

So Wales won that battle. It’s all done online now these days though, isn’t it? There are still many land casinos around, but if you take a look into the UK casinos list of online operators, there are hundreds of great places to choose from to play some games, and this applies to both England and Wales. Both countries count with a vast number of online followers in terms of iGaming.

Online casinos are now the preferred choice, especially as we move towards a mobile first way of thinking. But what else have Wales and England debated over the years?

England v Wales Rugby

It is claimed that England invented Rugby. Way back in 1876. A young boy going by the name of William Webb Ellis supposedly picked up a ball and invented rugby. The amazingly shiny and gold trophy that the winners of the Rugby World Cup hold aloft after winning the competition is named after him. The Webb Ellis Cup. So if you’ve heard the name before, that could be where you’ve heard it.

Aside from the fact that England lay claim to the invention of the sport, rugby is a game that arguably brings Welsh friends and families together and a lot more than their English counterparts. Rugby united the Welsh nation and completely breaks down class barriers where England struggles in comparison. This also gives a bit of an edge to the matches between the two sides.

However, it’s England that have had the upper hand over the years in terms of results. Here’s the last six results in all competitions:

  • 07 March 2020 – England 33-30 Wales
  • 11 August 2019 – England 33-19 Wales
  • 23 February 2019 – Wales 21-13 England
  • 10 February 2018 – England 12-6 Wales
  • 11 February 2017 – Wales 16-21 England

It’s always a tight affair when Wales and England meet. And the rivalry isn’t just at the international level. You see it at a club level and even at a grassroots level on rugby tours. We won’t even mention football simply because England can enjoy a far superior player pool and better resources.

Where Did the Rivalry Begin?

In historical terms, you can go all the way back to the 13th century. The Anglo-Norman conquest. Essentially, English law was imposed on the Welsh people, which many didn’t appreciate. That’s where it really started. And it’s lasted through the Tudor period, the Industrial Revolution, and beyond unfair 20th century politics to this very day.

The Welsh MP’s back in the 20th century were completely powerless when it came to influencing what changes were implemented in their own country. That’s something that’s always stuck with the Welsh folk. The water supply bill that involved flooding Capel Celyn was highly controversial. 35 of 36 Welsh MP’s voted against it, but because Parliament was made up of mainly English MPs, the bill was passed.

Although we see the rivalry set aside with the likes of the Ryder Cup, the Eurovision song contest, the Mosconi Cup, the British and Irish Lions, and even Team GB, the rivalry between the two nations in general will never really disappear. And it’d be nice to see the Welsh beat England in rugby again sometime soon, wouldn’t it?