Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rugby

Speaking about the New Zealand cover yesterday made me realize that I did not mention here yet my second major collection : rugby on stamps. I’m a big fan of rugby and I have started since now six years, to collect all stamps and postmarks related to rugby. In fact there are not so many countries that have issued stamps about rugby. This is quite understandable since there are not so many countries in which rugby is a popular sport. If we compare to soccer there is a huge difference. Rugby is no more an Olympic sport since 1924, do you have any idea which team is the last Olympic champion of rugby ? Well, this is the team of USA ! Funny when you see that nowadays, and since a long time, USA is no more a big nation for rugby…
Next year, we will have the rugby world cup in France. This will be the occasion to get a new French stamp (even more if we win ;-) ), and probably from other countries too.
The souvenir sheet pictured here has been issued by New Zealand in 2003 to commemorate “Hong Kong 2004” the 17th Asian international stamp exhibition. The stamps used on the block are coming from a set that was issued the same year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of New Zealand rugby test match. The top stamp, pictures the well known black jersey of the “All blacks”, the formidable New Zealand national team, with the fern on the heart. The bottom stamp is a picture of the test match between England and New Zealand that was held in 1997.

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