The History of Rugby World Cup Stamps
The Rugby World Cup is played every four years. The inaugural World Cup was played in 1987 and was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. Eight editions of World Cup have been held till now. The last World Cup was played in England in 2015 and the next World Cup which will be the ninth World Cup is scheduled to be held in Japan from 20 September 2019 to 02 November 2019.
Twenty teams will be participating in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. New Zealand are the current World Champions and has won the Webb Ellis Trophy thrice. Australia and South Africa have won it twice while England have won it once. Each of the World Cup has been commemorated by an issue of limited quantity commemorative stamps.
First Rugby World Cup was hosted by Australia and New Zealand jointly from 22 May to 20 Jun 1987. In the finals held at Eden Park, Auckland in New Zealand, the hosts defeated France by 29-9 to become the first ever Rugby World Cup Champions. New Zealand was led by David Kirk.
Western Samoa, Fiji & Canada joined 13 other countries for the 2nd Rugby World Cup which was jointly hosted by England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and France from 03 October to 02 November 1991. Australia defeated England in the final by 12-6 to lift the trophy.
England issued a 37 pence commemorative stamp on 11 June 1991 on the 2nd Rugby World Cup.
South Africa hosted the 3rd Rugby World Cup in 1995. All the matches were played in South Africa only. Teams from 16 countries participated in the Cup and South Africa defeated New Zealand 15-12 in the final to lift the Winner's Trophy. Nelson Mandela presented the Webb Ellis Cup to South African Captain Pienaar wearing a Springboks rugby shirt and Cap.
South Africa also issued a miniature sheet on 25 May 1995 to commemorate the hosting of Rugby World Cup in South Africa. They also issued a set of three stamps on 25 May 1995 to commemorate the hosting of Rugby World Cup in South Africa.
The Sport moved to a Professional era and 4th Rugby World Cup was hosted by Wales from 01 October to 06 November 1999. Australia beat France 35-12 to lift the trophy. France issued a unique oval rugby ball-shaped stamp to commemorate the event.
A ground signage dispute in New Zealand resulted in Australia hosting the 5th Rugby World Cup in 2003. Teams from 20 countries participated in the World Cup and England defeated Australia in the finals 20-17 to win the trophy. A total of 48 matches were played and total attendance was 1,837,547. Australia issued a miniature sheet containing three stamps on 08 October 2003 to mark the event. The stamps feature the Webb Ellis Trophy and rugby players.
The Sixth Rugby World Cup has hosted .by France from 07 September to 20 October 2007. The matches were also held in Wales and Scotland. France lost to England in front of the home crowd in the semi-finals. South Africa beat England 15-6 to win the title.
France issued a miniature sheet on 25 June 2007 on this World Cup.
The Seventh Rugby World Cup was hosted by New Zealand from 9 September to 23 October 2011. New Zealand beat France 8-7 to win the Cup. Australia beat Wales 21-18 to win the third place in the World Cup. The attendance for this World Cup was 1,477,294.
Uruguay made an entry into The eighth Rugby World Cup which was held in England from 18 September to 31 October 2015. It was the first World Cup where no team from Northern Hemisphere got beyond the quarterfinals
New Zealand beat Australia 34-17 to lift the trophy. 20 Nations participated in the Finals. South Africa defeated Argentina to clinch the third place in the event