Northampton Saints set to take on the British Army in 2016 charity match

Saints and The British Army are set for a showdown in 2016 as part of the Edgar Mobbs Memorial Match.

Saints and The British Army are set for a showdown in 2016 as part of the Edgar Mobbs Memorial Match.

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A date has been set for Northampton Saints and the British to do battle on the rugby pitch in the biennial Edgar Mobbs Memorial Match.

Franklin’s Gardens will play host to one of rugby’s oldest fixtures on April 13, 2016.

Previously the match was played between the Barbarians and players from around the East Midlands, but the match now sees the British Army taking on the Saints and Bedford Blues every two years.

Proceeds from the game will support the charitable aims of the Mobbs Memorial Fund, which promotes the development of youth rugby in the East Midlands.

Saints’ deputy chairman John White, who has joined the Mobbs Memorial Fund’s group of trustees for this season, says the contest is just as relevant now as it was 100 years ago.

He said: “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.”

“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.”

Saints will host the British Army Wednesday, April 13, with kick off at 7:45pm.

Entry will cost £10 for adults and £3 for Under-16s, concessions and veterans of the British Armed Forces.

In 2014 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.

A spokesman for Saints said 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 World War One. Mobbs did not survive the conflict after he was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

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.

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