Rugby card

Trading card

Rugby card
One of the earliest rugby cards (depicting Louis Magee) issued by Ogden's in 1902
Other namesRugby union card
TypeTrading card
CompanySelect Australia
CountryUnited Kingdom
Availabilityc. 1902–present
FeaturesRugby union
Rugby league

A Rugby card is a type of trading card relating to rugby football codes, usually printed on cardboard, silk, or plastic. These cards are most often found in the Australia, New Zealand and other countries where the sport is popular.


Early versions of rugby union trading cards came at the beginning of 20th century, when tobacco companies released their cigarette card series. The first collections consisted on black and white photographs of rugby players, such examples of this were series issued by Ogden and W.D. & H.O. Wills (both in 1902) and Taddy (1906). Later collections featured color illustrations of player portraits (Ogden, 1906) and live actions (issued by Gallagher in 1912).[citation needed]

In successive decades, other tobacco manufacturers launched series. In 1926, Ogden released a new black and white series of players. The same year, John Player & Sons released a series that consisted of caricatures of rugby players.[1] In 1935, W.A. & A.C. Churchman released an illustrated series displaying player portraits.[1]

Australian company Scanlens produced its first rugby league set in 1963,[2] releasing several collections during the 1970s and 1980s.[3] Other companies that produced cards were Stimorol (1988–91) and Regina (1992–93), until Dynamic Market took over the contract to produce rugby league cards in Australia.[3]

Another Australian company, "Select Australia", entered into the business in 2000.[3] The company was the official licensee for National Rugby League (NRL) cards (2010–12).[4][5] Since then, the NRL licensed company "Elite Sport Properties" (ESP) to produce trading cards.[3][6] The NRL also released its own collections, Startoons, featuring caricatures of players.[7]


Some rugby union/rugby league card collections released through the years include:[1][2]

Year Manufacturer Series Type, format
1902 Ogden's Footballers Black and white photographs of players
1902 Wills Footballers Black and white photographs of players
1902 Cadle's Footballers Black and white photographs of players
1906 Taddy Footballers Black and white photographs of players
1906 Ogden's Football Club Colours Illustrations of players
1909 Churchman Football Club Colours Illustrations of players
1915 Fred Morgan Welsh Footballers & Cricketers Black and white photographs of players
1926 Ogden's Famous Rugby Players Black and white photographs of players
1926 Player's Footballers Caricatures of players
1927 Wills New Zealand footballers Black and white photographs of players [note 1]
1928 Player's Footballers [note 2] Illustrations of players
1929 Wills Rugby internationals Caricatures of players
1930 Wills Rugby players Black and white photographs of players
1935 Churchman Internationals Illustrations of players
1935 Ogden's Football Caricatures Caricatures of players
1938 United Tobacco British Rugby Tour of S. Africa [note 3] Black and white player photographs of players
1963 Scanlens Football Gum Color photographs of players [note 4]
1976 KFC All Blacks Black and white photographs of players [note 1]
1995 Rugby Australia The Wallabies Color photographs of players [note 5]
1995 Futera Rugby Union 1995 [note 5]
1995 Dynamic Marketing '95 Contenders Color photographs of players [note 1]
1996 Card Crazy Authentics Rugby Superstars Color photographs of players [note 6]
1998 Panini Premier Division 98 Color photographs of players, teams, and emblems [note 7]
2006–09 Tazo, Smith's NRL Colour photographs of select players, teams, emblems both past and present.[8]
2016 Tap'n'Play Super Rugby Featuring Super Rugby players.
2019 Glenisk Irish Rugby Color photographs of players [note 8]
2020 NRL Startoons Caricatures of players [note 9]
  1. ^ a b c Featuring New Zealand internationals.
  2. ^ The word footballers included in this case several codes of football, from rugby union to association football
  3. ^ Featuring players of British and Irish Lions and South African players.
  4. ^ Rugby league players.
  5. ^ a b Featuring players of Australia national team
  6. ^ Featuring New Zealand provincial players.
  7. ^ Related to Premiership Rugby.
  8. ^ Featuring Ireland international players.[9][10]
  9. ^ Featuring NRL players.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Rugby cards & stickers on Rugby Relics
  2. ^ a b "Flashback: The Scanlens guide to the Eric 'Guru' Grothe years".
  3. ^ a b c d Rugby League Card Library on Game Day Trading Cards
  4. ^ "Select Cards - Card Checklists - NRL". Select Australia.
  5. ^ "Select NRL". Ja Ja's Collectables.
  6. ^ "ESP/TLA". Ja Ja's Collectables.
  7. ^ a b Footy cards are back on NRL website
  8. ^ "2007 NRL Tazos Classic Series". Retrieved 10 July 2024.
  9. ^ The only official Irish rugby collector album on Love Belfast website
  10. ^ "Glenisk Launches Guinness Six Nations Rugby Trading Cards". Checkout. February 2019.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rugby union cards.
  • NRL cards on Select Australia
  • Rugby league cards on Dan's NRL Collectibles
  • Rugby Relics, collectors website
  • Starr Cards, custom rugby cards
  • Matheson Sports
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