Cook Cup renamed to honour indigenous rugby legend

By Contributor

By Nodan Perry of NITV. Photo credit: NITV.

The Cook Cup, a rugby union trophy named for Captain James Cook, has been renamed to honour Mark Ella, the first indigenous Australian to captain a national sports team.

Ella will share naming rights with Edgar Mobbs, a former England winger who was killed in the First World War.

The dual name of the Ella-Mobbs Cup reflects the Australian and English sides who’ve contested the trophy for 25 years.

Ella represented the Wallabies in 25 tests between 1980 and 1984, alongside his twin Glen and younger brother Gary. He was elected to both the Australian and International Rugby Halls of Fame.

Mobbs, a seven-test winger, formed the Sportsman’s Battalion during the Great War and led 264 men in battle. He was fatally shot at Passchendaele in 1917 and died on the battlefield. His body was never recovered.

The names of Ella and Mobbs will represent a new era in the rugby rivalry between the countries, and move away from Cook, who has been a divisive figure in Australia’s history.