Why the England Saxons name is now considered inappropriate

England’s A team will no longer be known as the ‘Saxons’ after the Rugby Football Union decided the name is inappropriate.

The Rugby Football Union has dropped the ‘Saxons’ name to better reflect rugby’s diversity. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Scotland are due to play England in an A international in Leicester on June 27 in a revival of the fixture involving the shadow sides.

England’s second string was known as the “Saxons” but the RFU believes the name, which was introduced in 2006, is out of date and fails to reflect the diversity in English rugby.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We have chosen to revert to the traditional name of ‘England A’ for this fixture against ‘Scotland A’ as a better representation of our team today,” an RFU spokesperson said.

The move comes after outgoing RFU chairman Andy Cosslett stated that Twickenham must “step up its efforts to improve diversity and inclusion across our game”.

Last month it was announced that an independent diversity and inclusion advisory group overseen by former England and Lions wing Ugo Monye is being set-up.

Historically, the Saxons were a group of peoples in the early Middle Ages, originally from what is now the northwest corner of modern Germany. In a British context, the term ‘Saxons’, is more readily associated with Anglo-Saxons, a combination of incoming Germanic tribes and indigenous British groups whose coming together established the concept and the Kingdom of England, and the modern English language. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period between about 450 and 1066.

English rugby’s ruling body feels that using the name for its A team is outdated and could alienate some.

The RFU has also distanced itself from the ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ anthem sung in support of the England team at Twickenham in recognition of its origins in slavery.

Read More

Read More
Scotland’s summer programme could open the door for the likes of Ross Thompson, ...

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription