What is the Cook Cup? Why do England and Australia play for it? What does it mean?
England take on old rivals Australia this afternoon as Eddie Jones pits his wits against Michael Cheika’s.
The visitors have won 25 of the previous 49 contests between the sides, with one of those matches drawn.
But Eddie Jones‘ England have held their own in non-World Cup matches since 2013, allowing them to retain the Cook Cup.
What is the Cook Cup?
The Cook Cup is a trophy England and Australia have competed against each other for since 1997.
The cup itself is made from crystal and was designed by the world famous Royal Doulton company in London.
The Cook Cup is named after Captain James Cook, an English explorer who connects the two countries’ histories.
England have been the holders of the trophy since 2013, having won their last seven non-World Cup matches against Australia.
Why do England and Australia play for it?
England and Australia play for the Cook Cup due to contract signed between the nations 21 years ago.
The deal established a competition which was meant to see the two countries face each other twice a year.
That format of home and away fixtures has only been followed once since the inaugural year of the Cook Cup.
In most years there is only one match between England and Australia and World Cup matches do not count towards it.
What does it mean?
The Cook Cup is named after English explorer Captain James Cook, who travelled the globe during the 18th Century.
Cook is the first recorded European to have made contact with the eastern coastline of Australia.
Following his discovery in 1770, British citizens travelled to Australia to develop a settlement.
Cook’s endeavours helped pave the way for modern day Australia, hence the decision to commemorate him with the Cook Cup.