In the 1850s several clubs were formed but the rules
were still flexible and often were decided on the day. The clubs included
Trinity College, Dublin (1853), Edinburgh Academicals (1857), Liverpool (1858)
and Blackheath (1859). Rugby, Winchester, Westminister, Cheltenham and other
schools were playing a game with predominantly running.
In 1857 the "Green Book" in Scotland may have had a written set of rules
although the book may have been much latter.
In 1864 the first overseas clubs were formed with Sydney
University in Australia and Trinity College in Toronto Canada.
1871 saw the formation of the
Rugby Football Union and
the first rules were agreed upon. The first international between England and
Scotland was played. The Scottish Union was formed in 1873, the
Irish Union in 1874, and the
Welsh Union in 1880.
The International Rugby Board was formed in 1890. The
New Zealand Rugby Union was formed in
1892 and the
Argentinian Rugby Union
in 1899. 1900 saw Rugby in the Olympics, the competition was won by
1879 and 1895 saw major defections with
America and Canada
playing under their own rules and the split and formation of
The sport however became the major football code and a religion in
South Africa, New Zealand and
the Pacific Islands, such as Fiji, Samoa, the Cook Island
Tonga. It also remained popular
in Great Britain, Ireland, France. Italy, Argentina and Australia although it
was not the major code.
1987 saw the IRB follow soccer's lead and the First Rugby
World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand. It was followed in 1991 (NZ
Stamps) in the UK, 1995 in
South Africa and
1999 back in the UK. The 2003
World Cup will be held in Australia.
Despite their small population, New Zealand have always been
the dominant country in Union. Their famous team of the 1920s "The Invincibles"
was commemorated in the 1992 Issue commemorating the
One of the members
George Nepia was shown on the
1990 Health Stamp Issue. Health Stamps also had
Union for a theme in 1967 with release of a
Horizontal MS and
First Day Cover.
Like the Northern Hemisphere's Six Nations, the Southern
Hemisphere evolved the Super 12 Competition with Clubs from Australia, South
Africa and New Zealand. In 1999 NZ post released a sheetlet, booklets and
FDCs to commemorate their five clubs. The First Day Covers were
The Booklets were
The Crusaders won the 1999 Championship and a
cover with a
cancel was produced
issue consisted of two FDC, the one above with the four sheetlet stamps and
another with the
two Peel & Stick stamps.
The P&S stamps were issued in rolls of 100 with 5 segments of 20. The second and
fourth segments end with the tab
and the first
and third with
"See our stamps"
and the fifth with
"only 10 left".
Australia Post also released four maximum cards and four
postcards. They were both of similar design except the postcards were not
postmarked and did not have a stamp. They showed
2003 saw the release of the
Stamps & Minature Sheet
for the World cup in Australia. Each stamp value was also released as a minature
sheet with a similar design in a booklet which included a postcard of the
William Webb Ellis Cup and information about the countries represented. There
were three maximum cards of the