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Saints legend inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Mobbs was one of 25 players and notable figures within the sport to be inducted ahead of Sunday’s Rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Argentina.

The legend, who is also in the Saints’ own Hall of Fame, is as famous for his post-rugby exploits as he was for what he achieved on the field.

The first Saint to captain England, Mobbs made 234 first team appearances in black, green and gold, winning seven caps for his country and captained the East Midlands, Midlands and Barbarians during his career.

Mobbs retired from playing in 1913. This was, however, the start of his legend. Upon the outbreak of World War One, undeterred by the denial of an officer commission, he formed what became known as the 'Sportsman's Battalion.' 264 men, led by Mobbs, largely made up the 7th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, of whom only 85 survived the war.

Mobbs was not among them, having been gunned down leading an assault on a machine gun post during the Third Battle of Ypres. His body was never found, but his legacy lived on.

In 1921 thousands turned out for the unveiling of the Mobbs Memorial in Northampton's Market Square. That year also saw the first Mobbs Memorial Match between the East Midlands and the Barbarians, a fixture that has been played ever since, latterly with the Saints alternating with Bedford to play the British Army.

“The World Rugby Hall of Fame recognises those who have made an indelible mark on our sport through feats on the field of play, displays of great character or through their tireless and inspirational work in driving forward our great game, said World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset.

“The latest set of inductions includes some real legends, players who have helped to shape the image of rugby and inspire generations of fans.

“They are truly some of the biggest names in our sport over the past 100 years or so and all have contributed immensely to the enjoyment we have all felt watching top-level rugby over the decades. Each of these 25 inductees has made a positive impression on the sport that will last the test of time.”

WORLD RUGBY HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

Phil Bennett (Wales), Naas Botha (South Africa), Gordon Brown (Scotland), Marcel Communeau (France), Gerald Davies (Wales), Mervyn Davies (Wales), Danie Gerber (South Africa), Tim Horan (Australia), Andy Irvine (Scotland), Carwyn James (Wales), Barry John (Wales), Tom Kiernan (Ireland), Gwyn Nicholls (Wales), Basil Maclear (Ireland), Bill McLaren (Scotland), EDGAR MOBBS (England), Hennie Muller (South Africa), Morne du Plessis (South Africa), Ronald Poulton-Palmer (England), Tom Richards (Australia), Jean-Pierre Rives (France), Fergus Slattery (Ireland), Wavell Wakefield (England), Joost van der Westhuizen (South Africa) and John Lewis Williams (Wales)