Rugby Australia and the RFU have unveiled the new Ella-Mobbs Cup which will be contested between Australia and England in this month’s three-Test series.
The Cup celebrates an iconic rugby figure from each nation; the first Indigenous captain of the Wallabies, Mark Ella, and England and Northampton Saints legend, Edgar Mobbs.
The joint decision from Rugby Australia and the RFU comes as they look to celebrate the vast history between the two nations, dating back to 1909 – with Mobbs scoring for England in the very first match between the two nations.
Designed by Narooma artist Natalie Bateman, the trophy was revealed 24 hours before the first Test in Perth, and incorporate elements of both players’ families, heritages and culture, depicting their unique resilience, excellence and struggles. It features elements and materials significant to the Ella family from the Yuin nation on the south coast of New South Wales, as well as Northamptonshire where Mobbs and his family resided.
“This trophy represents the historic rivalry and respect between England and Australia, recognising two players who have contributed to both this fixture and each of our nations’ histories,” said RFU CEO Bill Sweeney.
“Edgar Mobbs was a great player for club and country, captaining Northampton for six years, gaining 234 caps as well as seven caps for England – his try-scoring debut being against Australia. However, today Mobbs is known as much for his heroic bravery as he is for his rugby prowess.”Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO
“Having been told he was too old to serve in World War One, he set up his own company, recruiting 264 to serve with him. After sadly losing his life in battle in 1917, the Edgar Mobbs Memorial Match was established to recognise his service to rugby and his country. This fixture was first played in 1921 and still takes place today.
“This trophy not only represents the history of this fixture, but also the enduring legacy that role models can have in our sport. We could not be prouder to play for the Ella-Mobbs Cup.”
Rugby Australia CEO, Andy Marinos, added: “Rugby Australia and the RFU are proud to introduce a new trophy that, we believe, is an outstanding representation of the rugby histories of both nations.
“Australia and England first played against each other over 113 years ago – when we looked at this extraordinarily long and proud rugby history, it was logical that our trophy should represent and celebrate that history.”