England rugby 'A' side to ditch 'Saxons' name

London (AFP) –


England's second-string men's rugby union team will no longer be known as the 'Saxons', the Rugby Football Union announced on Tuesday.

The title, only adopted in 2006, is a reference to the Anglo-Saxons who inhabited and ruled England from 450 up to the Norman invasion in 1066.

"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," said an RFU spokesperson.

The 'A' team term is used widely, with England 'A' playing their Scotland counterparts in Leicester on June 27 -- their first match since a tour of South Africa five years ago.

The move comes after the RFU announced the creation of an independent diversity and inclusion advisory group overseen by former England and British and Irish Lions winger Ugo Monye.

The announcement comes on the anniversary of the Battle of Edington in 878 when Alfred the Great, the Anglo-Saxon king of Wessex, finally ended the threat of the Vikings.

Twickenham chiefs had previously distanced themselves from the 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' anthem sung by many fans in support of the England team because of the song's roots in American slavery.