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08 October 2003
15/2003
Commemorative Issue

Rugby World Cup 2003

Australia
Rugby has a rich and long tradition. It was 1823 at the Rugby School in England when legend has it that William Webb Ellis picked up a soccer ball and ran with it. From that spontaneous begining rugby has grown into a major international sport played in more than 135 countries and governed by the International Rugby Board (IRB).

The Rugby World Cup had a distinctly antipodean genesis when in 1983 the Australian Rugby Union and the New Zealand Rugby Football Union independently wrote to the IRB about a Rugby World Cup tournament.

In 1987 the inaugural Rugby World Cup (RWC) was jointly staged in Australia and New Zealand. Sixteen countries were invited to participate and about 600,000 people attended matches. Broadcasts went to 17 countries with a global audience of about 300 million.

New Zealand won the inaugural cup, beating the European champions France at Eden Park. Four Rugby World Cups and sixteen years later the RWC is the third most popular sporting event, in terms of revenue and viewing audience, surpassed only by the Olympics and the Federation Internationale de Football Association World Cup.

Webb Ellis Cup  

Webb Ellis Cup

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The central stamp ($1.10) features the Webb Ellis Cup against a background depiction of night play at Telstra Stadium.

Shot at goal  

Shot at goal

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A graphic representation of the goals and a silhouette of a player lining up to take a shot at goal features on the $1.65 stamp.

Pass  

Pass

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The 50c stamp features the pass with a graphic representation of the goals and silhouettes of players running with the ball.

Technical Information

Issue date....................... 8 October 2003
Denominations................ One each 50c, $1.10, $1.65
Designer ........................ Beth McKinlay, Australia Post Design Studio
Stamp size...................... 30.55 x 30 mm
Perforations (all).............. 14.40 x 14.0
Printer ........... .... McPhersons
Paper (all) ....................... Tullis Russell
Printing process .............. Lithography
Sheet layout.................... Sheets of twenty, no gutter
National postmark ........... Sydney NSW 2000
copyright notice: This material has been reproduced with permission of the Australian Postal Corporation. The original work is held in the National Philatelic Collection.
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