Royal Mail will issue a set of stamps celebrating the 8th Rugby World Cup on September 18, the day England face Fiji in the opening game of the tournament.

Wales, Scotland and Ireland are also among the 20 competing nations, in a competition which will comprise 48 matches played at 13 different venues (10 around England plus the Millennium Stadium in Wales), culminating in a final at Twickenham in London on October 31.

The eight 1st class stamps, available in four se-tenant pairs, convey the power and dynamism of rugby union in the context of the sport’s scoring moves and set pieces.

Illustrated by Geoff Appleton, they have rudimentary, monochrome images in order not to favour any particular teams, players or stadia. All the designs bear the official Rugby World Cup 2015 logo.

Designed by Hat-Trick Design, the set is printed in lithography by International Security Printers.

Royal Mail previously issued a single stamp in 1991 to note the first time the World Cup had been hosted by the home nations, and a miniature sheet in 2003 to mark the only occasion so far on which one of them (England) has won the tournament.

2nd class TACKLE

A tackle occurs when a ball carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground. He must then release the ball.

2nd class SCRUM

A means of restarting the game after a minor infringement of the rules, a scrum involves eight forwards from each team, bound together in a set formation, collectively trying to push their opponents back to gain control of the ball with their feet.

1st class TRY

A try, worth five points, is scored when an attacking player reaches the opposition’s goal line and grounds the ball on or over it.

1st class CONVERSION

Taken by the attacking team after a try has been scored, a conversion kick can add two further points if the ball passes over the bar and between the posts of the goal.

£1.00 PASS

A pass is when the ball is thrown from one player to another, which must only be done in a sideways or backwards direction.

£1.00 DROP GOAL

Three points are scored by a drop goal, where a player drops the ball to the ground, lets it bounce, and kicks it over the the bar and between the posts of the goal.

£1.52 RUCK

The ruck is a phase of play in which one of more players from each team close around the ball when it is on the ground, and try to gain control of it while staying on their feet.

£1.52 LINE-OUT

A means of restarting the game after it the ball has been knocked or kicked off the side of the pitch, the line-out comprises three to eight players from each team competing for a ball thrown into play between them.

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

The presentation pack, written by sports journalist Richard Rae, charts the development of rugby union from its origins at Rugby School in 1823, when William Webb Ellis first picked up a football and ran with it. As an official Rugby World Cup souvenir, it comes with an ‘official merchandise ‘ hologram on the outer packaging.

The filler card for the first day cover features a fixture planner, listing all 48 games and inviting you to fill in the results as they happen.

Stamp cards are available as usual.

 

PRICES

Set of 8 stamps          £7.38

Presentation pack      £7.90

Stamp cards               £3.60

First day cover           £9.33

 

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   3/5

This is only the third time that Britain has hosted or co-hosted the tournament

QUALITY OF DESIGN   4/5

This is an effective approach to conveying the power and physicality of the sport

WOW FACTOR   2/5

The set may have limited impact on stamp buyers unless they are rugby fans