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Mark Ella reveals inspiration behind Ella-Mobbs Cup name, Australia vs England, rugby, news, Eddie Jones


The trophy the Wallabies and England will now play for has befittingly been renamed the Ella-Mobbs Cup, but it could perhaps become colloquially known as ‘Mullet’.

While the Cup is currently having the final touches put on it before it is unveiled next Friday at Perth’s Optus Stadium ahead of the first Test against Eddie Jones’ England, Mark Ella revealed the fish that powered the world’s best player will feature on the trophy – mullet. The trophy is being designed by his niece, Natalie Bateman.

“Natalie’s a pretty good artist and she knows what we needed to put together,” Ella told reporters from Coogee Oval.

“I made a couple of suggestions about mullet.

“Now, that might sound funny to many people, but my dad was a net fisherman and we caught mullet right throughout our summers and my (Wallabies) brothers Glen and Gary played a big role in that.

“When you come from a family of 12 you don’t really have a lot to argue when food is put in front of you, so we had mullet; baked mullet, skin bullet, mullet soup, anyway you could eat mullet was the way it was.

“Even to this day there are only two people who call me mullet and that’s (Wallabies legend) David Campese because he’s a … nice person and (rugby league great and former Australian Schoolboy) Wally Lewis.”

Mark Ella says it’s the right time to name the trophy played between Australia and England the Ella-Mobbs Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Ella was back at his spiritual home at Coogee Oval to speak about the renamed Cup, where he will share the name of the trophy alongside former England back, Edgar Mobbs, who died in action during World War One.

The former Wallabies captain, who remarkably retired at 25 having spearheaded Australia’s last grand slam tour and was considered the world’s best player, said it took some persuasion but ultimately he was “honoured” to have the trophy named after him.

“It means a lot to me and my family, obviously I’ve got a very good looking twin brother (Glen) and a younger brother (Gary),” he said.

“We played a lot of our rugby here and it meant a lot to our years. I’m honoured that the Cup is in my name, our name. It’s a big honour.

“Speaking to Rugby Australia, they first (told) me that they were considering this and asked what my opinion was. I didn’t really give an opinion. I’d been out of rugby for a long time.

“I was aware of the Cook Cup; it has been a little while and it took me a bit of persuasion from Rugby Australia to get me interested.

“As much as rugby was very much a part of my life, as you get older you move on and it’s great to be back within the circle of rugby.”

Former Wallabies & brothers (L-R) Gary, Mark & Glen Ella launch in Sydney in 2001. Pic: Lindsay Moller.Source: News Corp Australia

While the rebranding of the Cup was criticised in some circles, Ella said he didn’t take issue with it previously being named after Captain Cook but added it was the right time to pay tribute to two of the nation’s former players.

“I understand the connotations and it certainly didn’t upset me,” Ella said.

“To be fair, it’s (the Cook Cup) been around a long time, I think 25 years. I think it’s time to recognise the rivalry between the RFU and Rugby Australia and what it means, and having two former players as part of the new Ella-Mobbs Cup, I think this is the way it should be.”

England’s Australian head coach Eddie Jones and his former assistant coach Glen Ella during the 2016 series against the Wallabies in Brisbane. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Ella’s presence at his spiritual home – Coogee Oval, the home of the Galloping Greens and his former club rugby side – was a significant one for Rugby Australia.

While the governing body has come under fire for years for not having a stronger Indigenous representation in the game, his brothers Glen and Gary have been actively involved.

They have been pivotal in seeing the national jersey become the first to acknowledge its Indigenous heritage while Olivia Fox sung the national anthem in the Eora language during the 2020 Rugby Championship. Both have become integrated into the national rugby landscape.

Wallabies Mark Ella in action against the All Blacks in the 1984 Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney.Source: News Corp Australia

But his return to the public eye comes mere weeks before Jones, who grew up alongside the Ellas, comes just weeks before the Australian coach will set up camp in Coogee with England ahead of the third Test.

Ella said he was looking forward to catching up with his childhood friend but said the days of him and his brother Glen, who was an assistant in 2016 when England defeated the Wallabies 3-0 on Australian soil, helping ‘Beaver’ on the field were over.

“I’ll probably get to see Eddie in Perth before the first Test match,” Ella said.

“We’ve known each other since we were three years old. We did kindergarten, primary school and high school (together). I know my twin brother Glen and Eddie are thick as thieves. We’ll have a few laughs and giggles when I do catch him.

“Beaver playing at this field. Beaver always had a sharp tongue and he didn’t hesitate in telling the referee or his opposition what he thought of him, and we used to have a lot of fun having pot shots at each other. I better not say too much, he might get the shits with me.”



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