'We will remember them'

  • Prince Harry to visit Rose and Poppy Gates
  • A moment’s silence will be observed before kick-off.

England Rugby will mark Remembrance Sunday by supporting The Soldiers, Sailors and Families Association (SSAFA) at England’s Old Mutual Wealth Series opening game against South Africa on Saturday.

SSAFA, the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) military charity partner this year, supports 60,000 regulars and reserves in the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force and their families yearly.

Ahead of the match, Prince Harry, Vice Patron of the RFU, will visit the memorial Rose and Poppy Gates alongside RFU President Peter Baines and former England captain and RFU Great War Ambassador, Lewis Moody, to lay a commemorative wreath. 

SSAFA volunteers will also be outside Twickenham Stadium to collect donations for the charity.

The England and South African teams will be led out by representatives of the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force and a moment’s silence will be observed before kick-off.

Red poppies on their sleeves

Both teams will also wear red poppies on their sleeves with England donating a match shirt to the Royal British Legion.

This weekend forms part of the RFU’s four-year programme to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Earlier this year, the RFU unveiled the Rose and Poppy Gates, commissioned as a lasting memorial to all who have lost their lives as a result of war and conflict.

Until 13 November, the gates will feature a Garden of Remembrance, honouring the fallen, especially those from the rugby family.

The first of three Rose and Poppy films were released this week. The short films tell of rugby’s involvement in the Great War, when thousands left rugby pitches for the battlefields. Narrated by Lewis Moody, they chronicle the stories of rugby heroes and the bonds between rugby, its values and the military.

The matchday programme will carry a special feature dedicated to all the English and South African players who lost their lives during the Great War.

England and France Women also wore poppies on their anthem jackets ahead of their match on Wednesday and observed a moment’s silence. The Red Roses will also wear poppies in Dublin when they play Ireland on Sunday.

SSAFA: Lifelong support for our Forces and their families. Text RUGBY to 70007 to donate £3  or visit www.ssafa.org.uk/give