Northampton Saints will once again lock horns with the British Army in April 2018, as one of the most historic fixtures in rugby returns to Franklin’s Gardens.
First played in 1921, the Mobbs Memorial Match honours Edgar Mobbs – both a Saints legend and World Rugby Hall-of-Fame inductee, as well as a World War One hero.
Contested between the East Midlands and the Barbarians until 2011, Franklin’s Gardens has played host for the fixture every other year since 2012 when it was re-launched, with Bedford Blues also locking horns with the British Army on a biennial basis.
And this year’s match will see the Saints take on the Army on Wednesday 18 April 2018, 7.45pm kick-off, with tickets priced at £15 for adults and £5 for juniors, concessions, and veterans of the British Armed Forces.
Proceeds as usual will support the charitable aims of the Mobbs Memorial Fund, which promotes the development of youth rugby in the East Midlands.
“In my first season with the Saints, I am really excited that the Mobbs Memorial Match is returning to Franklin’s Gardens once again,” said Saints CEO Mark Darbon.
“The end of this year will mark 100 years since the end of the Great War, and so there’s no doubt there’s never been a more appropriate time to remember Saints legend Edgar Mobbs and the ultimate sacrifice given by millions of young men and women during the conflict.
“I can’t wait to welcome the British Army here; this is one of rugby's oldest annual fixtures and it’s important it’s not be allowed to be forgotten – especially with the Army still involved in conflicts all over the world.
“The Mobbs Memorial Fund has the interests of youth rugby at its core, so I hope the Saints faithful will turn out in their droves to support the players on both sides and help to raise a lot of money for charity!”
Saints were victorious the last time they took on the Army back, winning 24-10 at Franklin’s Gardens in an entertaining skirmish.
The clash has often been a great opportunity for Saints’ younger prospects to pull on the Black, Green and Gold, and the likes of Lewis Ludlam, Jordan Onojaife, and James Grayson all getting on the scoresheet in 2016.
And Onojaife, Rory Hutchinson, and Tom Kessell turned out for Bedford Blues in last year’s clash against the servicemen, winning 55-26 after a thrilling 80 minutes.
ABOUT EDGAR MOBBS
An illustrious career at Franklin’s Gardens saw winger Mobbs pull on the Black, Green and Gold 234 times, earning seven England caps in the process.
He became the first Saint ever to captain England, and Mobbs also led the East Midlands, Midlands, South of England and Barbarians sides, while he skippered Northampton for five seasons.
Indeed, a plaque bearing his name still sits above the No.11 bench in the Saints dressing room, and Mobbs was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2015.
But if anything Mobbs is even more fondly remembered for what he did on the field of battle while serving in the Army.
Forming his own special corps of 264 men, the ‘Sportsman’s Battalion’ became a large part of the 7th Battalion (Northamptonshire Regiment) during the Great War, but – like so many others – Mobbs did not survive the conflict.
He was killed on July 31, 1917, during the third battle of Ypres, and although his body was lost he is honoured by a statue in Northampton town centre, as well as in the Memorial Match.
Tickets for the Mobbs Memorial Match are now on sale, with tickets priced at £15 for adults and £5 for juniors, concessions, and veterans of the British Armed Forces. Purchase from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, CLICK HERE to book online, or call the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000. Please note that this fixture is NOT included in the 2017/18 Season Ticket package.