Australia 1999 Centenary of Test Rugby
- Issue Date: 8 June 1999
- Designed by: Mark Sofilas
- Printed by: SNP Ausprint
- Print Process: Lithography
- Stamp Size: 26 mm x 37.5 mms
- Withdrawal date: 30 March 2000
This stamp issue commemorates 100 Years of Test Rugby in Australia. The first game of official test rugby played by an Australian team against an international opponent was at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 24 June 1899. More than 28,000 people watched Australia defeat the British Isles (known as the British Lions) 13–3. The visit by the Great Britain team, which won all but three of its 21 matches on the tour, excited public interest and gave rugby a clear advantage over its rival codes.
A test match is defined as any game in which an Australian team plays against another country whilst wearing the Wallaby jumper. ‘The Wallabies’ was voted in as the national team’s name in 1908. Selection in a team to play for Australia overseas has always been the greatest reward for a rugby player, and a tour of Britain the most eagerly sought honour. The tests are traditionally recognised as the most significant component of the game.
The stamps capture four aspects of the dynamic game that is rugby.
- Perforations: 14 x 14½, 14½ x 14 (45c)
- Format: sheets of 50 (two panes of 25 separated by a gutter)
The Wallabies 100 Years of Test Rugby logo was printed in the gutters of the 45c stamp sheet.
- Perforations: serpentine die cut 11½
- Format: coils of 100
First Day Covers
The first day of issue postmark was Sydney NSW 2000.
Australia Post produced a souvenir cover to celebrate Australia’s win in the 1999 Rugby world Cup in Cardiff on 6 November. The cover features the Rugby stamps issued on 8 June 1999, with a special postmark and cachet.