Franklin's Gardens will once again play host to the Mobbs Memorial Match, with Northampton Saints taking on the British Army in April 2016.
Franklin's Gardens has hosted one of rugby's oldest annual fixtures every other year since it was re-launched in 2012. Previously played between the Barbarians and East Midlands, the Mobbs Memorial Match now sees the British Army taking on the Saints and Bedford Blues on a biennial basis.
This season will see the Saints host the Army on Wednesday, April 13th, with a 7:45pm kick off. Entry will cost £10 for adults and £3 for Under-16s, concessions (over-65s and full-time students) and veterans of the British Armed Forces. Proceeds from the match will support the charitable aims of the Mobbs Memorial Fund, which promotes the development of youth rugby in the East Midlands.
Youth has had its chance to shine in the Mobbs Memorial Match in recent years, no more so than in 2014, when a Saints squad which included four players who would later help England win the Under-20 World Championship overcame the Army in a clash which featured 11 tries and 76 points.
This season's match will be the first since Edgar Mobbs was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame, an accolade bestowed as much for his achievements after he retired from playing as for what he did on the pitch itself.
Mobbs is one of the true legends in the history of Northampton Saints, the first man from the club to captain England and who, after he retired, formed his own corps of men to join the British Army and fight in the Great War. Mobbs did not survive the conflict, gunned down in the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, and while his body was never found he is commemorated in the form of a statue in Northampton town centre, as well as the Memorial Match, first played in 1921.
Saints' deputy chairman John White, who has joined the Mobbs Memorial Fund's group of trustees for this season, says that the Match maintains its relevance in the 21st Century as much as it did nearly 100 years ago.
“The Mobbs Memorial Match may not have the status it did back in the 1960s, when it was virtually an England trial, but over the past few years it has taken on new meaning,” he said. “The hundredth anniversary of World War I has been a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice given by millions of young men, especially during a time when the British Army has been taking part in conflicts in different parts of the world.
“And from a rugby perspective it has been fantastic to see the Match take new life. The Mobbs Memorial Fund is all about supporting youth rugby, and we've seen some of the best young players in the country represent both the Saints and the Army in this game, including several who helped England win the Under-20 World Championships.
“With Edgar Mobbs now in the World Rugby Hall of Fame, too, it promises to be an outstanding evening.”
Tickets for the 2016 Mobbs Memorial Match are available now from the Saints Ticket Office. Book online 24/7 at www.northamptonsaints.co.uk/buytickets and use Print at Home to save the admin fees!