October's East Midlands derby is moving to Twickenham to raise money for retired centre Rob Horne
Northampton v Leicester at Twickenham in aid of Rob Horne
East Midlands derbies are always loud affairs but the first one of this Gallagher Premiership season is set to reach even greater noise levels now the fixture has been moved to Twickenham.
On Saturday 6 October, Northampton and Leicester will run out at the home of English rugby for the first time since the 2013 Premiership final – and the occasion will mark a significant fund-raising effort for Rob Horne.
The ex-Wallaby centre, 29, was forced to retire last season after suffering a life-changing injury in Northampton’s 27-21 win at Leicester and he will be honoured at Twickenham as the latest chapter in the Saints v Tigers rivalry unfolds.
Horne has revealed that he suffered a brachial plexus avulsion during the incident in April, which meant five nerves that control his shoulder, arm and hand detached from his spinal cord. This has resulted in the paralysis of his right arm as well as chronic pain.
Holding this East Midlands derby at Twickenham will maximise the money Northampton can raise to support Horne’s ongoing rehabilitation and provide financial security for his family.
Northampton will donate £5 on behalf of every season-ticket holder, who will be provided with free coach travel to London too, while fans purchasing one-off tickets for this match will have the option of making a contribution. There will also be other fund-raising activities on the day.
Tickets for the match start at £25 for adults and £10 for juniors – click here to purchase tickets.
Horne describes having this match in his honour as “overwhelming” and “special”. He adds: “Everyone at the club has gone above and beyond to support me and my family through an incredibly difficult time.
“I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of support from both Northampton Saints supporters and many of the Tigers fans that were at that game too. I’m touched by the additional gesture the club are making in staging this game, and I can’t wait to see my team-mates run out at Twickenham.”
Horne has returned to Australia to be closer to his family support network but he will be back in the UK for the match.
Saints’ new director of rugby Chris Boyd says: “This is a great chance for the rugby family to get behind Rob. I’m sure the playing squad are looking forward to playing the derby on one of the biggest stages in the world.”
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.