Northampton Saints are delighted to announce that they will welcome East-Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers to Twickenham in round six of the Gallagher Premiership in aid of former Saint Rob Horne.
The Australian international centre was tragically forced to retire from rugby at the end of last season after sustaining a career-ending injury playing in Saints’ victory over Tigers at Welford Road.
But Horne will now be honoured on Saturday 6 October (kick-off 3pm) as two giants of English rugby resume their intense on-field rivalry and lock horns again in the Gallagher Premiership. This will be the first time the two rivals have met at Twickenham since the 2013 Premiership Final.
“The outpouring of support for Rob at the end of last season from the whole rugby community in the East Midlands was overwhelming – and we wanted to act,” said Saints Chairman John White.
“The Club received countless requests from both Saints and Tigers supporters for a fitting way in which they could both bid farewell to Rob and also support him.
“The outpouring of support for Rob at the end of last season from the whole rugby community in the East Midlands was overwhelming – and we wanted to act."John White, Saints Chairman
“Leicester Tigers’ chairman and board have also made it clear that they are very keen to help Rob in any way they can, and this is a superb way to do that.”
To kick-off the fundraising, Northampton Saints will donate £5 on behalf of every Season Ticket Holder, while supporters will have the option to make a contribution as they purchase tickets. There will also be a number of fundraising opportunities on the day itself, with donations going towards Rob’s ongoing rehabilitation and ensuring some financial security for he and his family.
Prices start from £20 for adults and £10 for juniors. To purchase tickets please CLICK HERE.
Please note, this game is included for 2018/19 Season Ticket Holders, who are entitled to Category 'A' seating and will need to confirm their attendance by completing the online booking form.
Horne pulled on the Black, Green and Gold jersey 21 times last season – scoring eight tries as a Saint and being named the Club’s Player of the Season in the process.
“Everyone at the Club has gone above and beyond to support me and my family through an incredibly difficult time,” he said.
“I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of support from both Northampton Saints supporters and many of the Tigers fans that were at that game too."Rob Horne
“I am touched by the additional gesture the Club are making in staging this game, and I can’t wait to see my teammates run out at Twickenham.
“I hope we can raise some awareness for Brachial Plexus injuries, as well as being treated to another chapter in this storied rivalry.”
The RFU approached Saints to host a home match at Twickenham earlier this summer so they could test their new East Stand development ahead of the 2018 Autumn Internationals.
Saints’ chief executive Mark Darbon admits the opportunity was an incredibly exciting one for the entire Club.
“We were asked to help test the new East Stand redevelopment because of our fantastic supporter base and the size of this game – the East Midlands Derby is undeniably the biggest fixture in English club rugby.
“There was a significant financial incentive for the Club to host the game – one we could not ignore – which enables us to maximise the funds we can raise for Rob.
“This is also a unique opportunity for Saints supporters to experience the brand-new Twickenham East Stand development before anyone else. I hope it’s a great day out for them at the home of English rugby.”
The Club’s Season Ticket Holders will have prime seating reserved at Twickenham, as well as a free alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage up until 2pm.
Free coaches will be laid on to allow Season Ticket Holders to easily get down to London, while other travel packages will be available for supporters travelling down from Northampton for the day.
CLICK HERE for more information about benefits available to Saints STHs and supporters at Twickenham.
Rob Horne will be returning to the UK to attend the fixture in October and deliver the match ball after moving home to Australia with his family last week.
Saints new director of rugby Chris Boyd added: “This is a great opportunity for the Club and a great chance for the rugby family to get behind Rob.
"No doubt our supporters will create the same special atmosphere we have in Northampton down in London to get behind us.”Chris Boyd, Saints Director of Rugby
“I’m sure the playing squad are all looking forward to playing the derby on one of the biggest stages in the world at Twickenham – no doubt our supporters will create the same special atmosphere we have in Northampton down in London to get behind us.”
The move to host the game at Twickenham was also welcomed by David Lowrence, Chair of the Saints Supporters Club.
“At the time of Rob’s injury, there was a tremendous desire from Saints supporters to honour a true Saintsman,” he said.
“I am delighted that so many Saints supporters, as well as Tigers fans, will have the opportunity to pay tribute to Rob and raise funds for him in the process – he was a magnificent leader and a warrior on the field.”
Tickets prices start from £20 for adults and £10 for juniors. To purchase tickets please CLICK HERE.