Friday, September 10, 2010

Rugby World Cup 2011

Commencing celebration for the Rugby World Cup 2011, the Final to be held at Eden Park in Auckland on 23 October 2011, New Zealand post has released on 9 September a set of stamps and miniature sheet for this great event. This issue will probably be the first of many to mark RWC2011. As with NZ Post previous issue commemorating the All Blacks, there are 2 stamps in the issue, and 2 sets of the same stamps in different sizes are found on the miniature sheet. The stamps are illustrated with the official logo of RWC2011. The bigger sized stamps will probably be available only in October, as personalised sheets, as the 60c postage will only take effect then.

New Zealand 2010 All Blacks

New Zealand Post issue to commemorate the All Blacks was released 4 August 2010. Despite how the game of rugby has evolved in the last few decades, the All Blacks have always been marked by the silver fern on the left breast of their black jerseys. This distinctive emblem, a graphic representation of the native ponga fern (Cyathea dealbata), was adopted by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1893.

The miniature sheet shown above contains 2 sets of the same stamps, the smaller set is available at post offices as loose stamps, however, the bigger set comes from the NZ Post personalised stamp sheet. The lower denomination stamp valued at 60c is meant for increased postage for normal mail in New Zealand, effective October 2010.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Guinea 2008 Tortoises & Rugby Players

This issue has a curious mixture of themes, but that is the nature of philatelic material created specially for collectors, and little postal utility. The theme is African tortoises, and here they are all associated with international South African rugby players! We might imagine the rugby forwards ploughing through the field like these giant tortoises, but a few of these players are in wing positions! The players featured are Bismarck du Plessis, Bryan Gary Habana (IRB 2007 Player of the Year), John Philip "Bakkies" Botha, Jaque Fourie & Schalk Burger. The tortoises are Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Geochelone gigantea), African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), Leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) & Karoo Cape Tortoise (Homopus femoralis).