- Buy tickets for Saints v Tigers - here
- Match is in aid of Rob Horne
For James Haskell there is nothing quite like playing at Twickenham. The Northampton Saints flanker is relishing the opportunity to make another appearance at the home of English rugby on Saturday, but not for the usual reasons.
With more than club rivalry at stake, Saturday’s showdown between Northampton and Leicester Tigers at Twickenham will be more poignant than ever.
The encounter at Twickenham on Saturday 6 October (3pm) will be played in aid of Rob Horne, the former Saints centre who was tragically forced to retire from rugby after sustaining a career-ending injury against Leicester last season.
"Rob Horne made a massive impact on the club, he sacrificed himself every week for the team so anything we can do to help, we're going to do."— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 3, 2018
Saints v Tigers in tribute to Rob Horne. Buy tickets: https://t.co/MrKp32qOI3 pic.twitter.com/S7hbAla6Qj
The former Australian international was left with a paralysed right arm after the accident, and now, the rugby community has come together in support.
Haskell said: “It shows how much us players want to look after each other.
“I think we do that particularly well in rugby. Players who go through a rough time have always been supported by others at this level. It is such an inclusive sport.”
“When the opportunity came along to support Rob by playing at Twickenham, everyone jumped straight on board.”
“The boys from Leicester helped to support the campaign on their day off and I think that shows how much us players appreciate helping each other, which, given the risky nature of the sport, is incredibly important.
“In Rob’s case, every single one of us is there to support him. We want to get out there and raise as much money as possible to support him and his family.”
Haskell praised the decision to hold the East Midlands derby at Twickenham as for him there is no place better suited to hosting the significant fund-raising effort for Horne.
He added: “It’s a very special place.
“People dream of playing at Twickenham and to go there on multiple occasions is every player’s greatest ambition.
“I think holding the spectacle at Twickenham – the home of England Rugby – is fantastic. Everyone who plays rugby or is a fan of the sport knows what a spectacular place it is.
“Twickenham is very special to me. It’s one of the first places that I went to watch a rugby game. I played there as a schoolboy and even though I’ve played there on numerous occasions since, the thought of returning still really excites me.”
Tickets for ‘The Derby’ at Twickenham Stadium in aid of Rob Horne are on sale at www.northamptonsaints.co.uk/buytickets.