Tuesday, December 29, 2009

France 2009 Region of Aquitaine - the origin of modern rugby?

The French Post released in August a series of regional sheetlets with 10 self-adhesive stamps each featuring regional specialties. The stamp shown above is from the sheetlet for Aquitaine. The description for it listed "soule" or "sioule" as the ancestor of modern day rugby. I googled it, and discovered that "soule" is still being played in France, especially in Normandy, and there are almost no rules for it, one just have to bring the ball across the goal line, and there can be any number of players on either side. The game is supposed to been played more than a thousand years ago!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games

Hong Kong Post issued this on 5 December to commemorate the Asian Games held in this then British, now Chinese, enclave, from 5 to 13 December. The rugby player executing a drop kick is found in the first $1.40 stamp, located at the top left side of the block of 6 in this miniature sheet. The scanned image of the miniature sheet shows only dark silhouettes of sportsmen, but they are actually metallic surfaces, which I couldn't reproduce with my scanner; the 2 $1.40 stamps have gold silhouettes, the 2 $2.40 stamps are silver and the 2 $3.00 stamps bronze.

Besides this miniature sheet, the Hong Kong Post also released the set of 6 stamps, and 6 pre-paid postcards (PPC), each one with the same design as each of the individual stamp.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Aussie Rules Football

For the country's Stamp Collecting Month, Australia issued on 6 October a set of 6 stamps featuring ball sports, amongst them is the Aussie Rules Football, played with an oval ball in an oval field!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

NZ 2009 Tiki Tour

The Tiki Tour sheetlet, released 5 August, contains stamps featuring the unique NZ. Amongs them is one featuring Waikato Rugby in the North Island, with a bull in Waikato red, yellow and black garb carrying a rugby ball on a forward rush.

NZ 2009 Health Issue

The NZ Health stamps for 2009 was issued 7 September 2009, and it includes the usual miniature sheet.

Tracking new stamps entering my collection

I have been collecting stamps on the theme of rugby for some years, and decided to set this up to track the growth of my acquisition. I wait in anticipation for new issues of the next 2 years, with Womem's Rugby World Cup in 2010 and the Men's Rugby World Cup in 2011. I am sure the world's rugby greats will be issuing stamps in 2011, I am curious to see if there will be any issue for the 2010 issue. There is of course, the attempt to include rugby as part of the Olympic Games for the future. If this happens, then oval balls would start to appear in Olympiad issues.

The first stamp to enter my collection is the NZ$1.00 stamp from the New Zealand Health issue. It does not depict rugby directly, it has a stamp-on-stamps theme, and among the stamps in the background is the 2.5-cent stamp of the 1967 Health issue that has rugby as the theme.