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Wallabies to play England for new Ella-Mobbs Cup

Thu, 23/06/2022, 11:57 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie spoke to media from the Sunshine Coast.

Rugby Australia and Rugby Football Union have formally confirmed Australia and England will face off for the Ella-Mobbs Cup in next month's three Test series.

It celebrates Mark Ella and Edgar Mobbs, iconic Rugby figures from each nation.

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The joint decision comes as they look to celebrate the vast history between the two nations, dating back to 1909.

Ella was the first Indigenous captain of the Wallabies, renowned as one of the most gifted players in Rugby history as he helped Australia to a Grand Slam in 1984.

He went on to play 25 caps for his country, joined by twin brother Glen and younger brother Gary in playing for the Wallabies.

Meanwhile, Mobbs played an integral role in English Rugby, scoring their lone try in the very first match between the two nations.

He was named captain in 1910, before serving in the First World War, killed in action in 1917 during the third Battle of Ypres.

“Rugby Australia and the Rugby Football Union are proud to introduce a new trophy that, we believe, is an outstanding representation of the Rugby histories of both nations," RA CEO Andy Marinos said in a statement.

“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.

“Mark Ella is one of the most famous and loved Australian Rugby players – both in terms of his success, and the way that he played the game… He is loved for his enterprising and dynamic style, and the unbridled joy that he gave Rugby fans who had the privilege of watching him.

“We are thrilled to be able to further acknowledge the contribution that Mark Ella has made to our sport in Australia.”

The Ella-Mobbs Cup has been designed to 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 NSW as well as Northamptonshire, where Mobbs and his family resided.

The trophy was designed by Narooma artist Natalie Bateman, set to be unveiled July 1, just 24 hours before the first Test in Perth.

“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," RFU CEO Bill Sweeney added.

“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.

“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.”

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