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Australia Rugby Centenary

2008 Proof Five Dollar reverse 2008 Proof Five Dollar obverse

2008 Proof Five Dollar

Reverse Designer:Vladimir Gottwald Obverse Designer:Ian Rank-Broadley Size:39mm Weight:36.31g Edge:Reeded Composition:99.9% Silver


Sales History


This five dollar coin was issued by the Royal Australian Mint in order to celebrate 100 years of the game of Rugby. The reverse was designed by Vladimir Gottwald and features the artists impression of two rugby players in action. It includes the legend "CENTENARY OF RUGBY LEAGUE 1908 - 2008 FIVE DOLLARS". The obverse features an Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, crowned and right facing along with the legend "ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2008".

The origins of Rugby League can be traced to the town of Huddersfield, England in around 1895. It emerged as a variation of Rugby Union after the officiating body enforced its amateur status thus preventing players from receiving compensation for time taken off work to compete. The northern teams, which consisted more heavily of working class players, felt that these decisions advantaged the generally more affluent southern teams. The Northern Rugby Football Union was formed as a reaction with twenty-two northern teams members. These separated leagues would never reconcile and they each evolved quite different rules. Such a schism was mirrored in Australia where the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded after a working-class Union player failed to receive compensation after breaking his arm. Today Rugby League is no longer just a break away sport with the Australian spectator-ship of Rugby League massively outstripping Rugby Union.

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