Thursday, 22 March 2012

Rugby badges collectors guide

Collecting rugby pins can become a great hobby. I've been doing this for years now and my collection includes pins that are linked to Rugby Union. At the moment it consists of about 1000 unique pins and the number is constanstantly increasing. Below I'd like to share with you some of my ideas on how to collect pins.  I hope that some of you will find it useful no matter whether you have only just started your collection or have one of considerable size.

1. Decisions, decisions... to start a collection

Beginnings tend to be similar. You either happen to come into possession of sports memorabilia (pin badges, stickers, pennants etc.) which you feel  it's a shame to get rid of, or you've seen your friend's collection and would love to create one yourself... No matter what inspired you, the most important is to MAKE A DECISION to start a collection. If you've already decided - congratulations - you've made the first and most important step.

2. How to expand your collection

There are a few ways which can help you to build up your collection. Invaluable source can be your friends. Inform them that you are keen on collecting rugby badges. They may come across one at the game or bring you a pin from the holidays. Find out if any of your close friends, relatives or acquaintances collects rugby pins as they may be able to give some  of them up if they have doubles or exchange them for something else. Go on the Internet - Allegro (Polish version of eBay) or eBay where you can buy unique pins from all over the world.  Check the Internet for rugby clubs and National Union's shops. In Poland, it is not very popular for a rugby club to run its Internet shop however you can get some official gadgets from abroad where most of the clubs sell them on the Internet. Look around for flee markets or shops with sports memmorabilia. All this should help you find something unique and interesting for your collection.

3. Categorizing pins

As the collection expands, it is worth to think about categorizing pins and deciding on the criteria of selecting new items. Counting a few pins may not pose any problems but if you own hundreds it can become a bit more difficult. It is worth to know how many pins you have in every category e.g. rugby clubs, Naitonal Union etc. It is up to you to to make a decision on different categories but surely this will help you keep your collection neat and tidy as well as enable it to grow. I would highly recommend that you take a photograph of each item and store it in one folder on your computer. I find it especially useful to use Picasa (free) or ACDSEE (chargeable) to browse through the pictures. Graphic and photo viewers will help you to create a gallery,  as well as will count all items and generate miniatures. If you name your pictures in the right way, you will be able to locate the pin without physically searching for it. Also, you will see that if you want to share your collection on the Internet, the photographs will be the best way to do so.

4. Displaying of your pins

Even the most impressive collection, if not displayed in the right way, may lose its attractiveness. Above, I've focused on computer programms for displaying your collection and now I'd like to discuss the ways you can display your pins in real life. A lot depends on the number of pins. If the collection is relatively small, it should not be a problem. You can use a t-shirt, scarf or hat of your favourite team. Another way of displaying your pins is sticking them in the card board or a pin holder. For bigger collections I would recommend cork boards which are available in different sizes - from a few centimetere to 2-meter high. A good idea is to use the ones covered with fabric as the pins look very well in them. Another option is to use display cases with glass front. As you can see, there are various ways of arranging your collection and it is worth to spend some time as money to make your collection shine.

I hope you will find my post useful. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments. And good luck in collecting new items!

P.S. Also, I'd like to invite you to view my collection of rugby pins.

click to see picture in full resolution

click to see picture in full resolution

click to see picture in full resolution

click to see picture in full resolution

click to see picture in full resolution

click to see picture in full resolution

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Wales won Grand Slam

Wales winning Grand Slam photo:
Six Nations 2012 tournament is now over. Wales became the champion, winning all games, and in the last one beating France 16:9. This is the third Grand Slam for this team in the last seven years. Young Welsh team was playing good rugby during the whole competition. Although they had a few injuries they managed to successfully replace missing players. Congratulations to Warren Gatland and his team as they proved their potential once again.

Second place went to England after they won with Ireland 30:9 in London. Stuart Lancaster's team won four out of five games and definetely can be happy with their performance. Good result will surely work to the coach's advantage, after he took over the team from Martin Johnson who resigned. Lancaster is one of the candidates to full-time job.

Wooden Spoon decider was played again between Italy and Scotland. This time it was Italians who were better winning 13:6 in Rome. It was seventh defeat in a row for the Scots.

Every year the Six Nations tournament stirs up many emotions. This year, we had a chance to watch very good, high level rugby. Now, the supporters can direct their attention to clubs competitions such as Aviva Premiership RaboPro12 or Heineken Cup.

Final table of Six Nations 2012:
1. Wales
2. England
3. Ireland
4. France
5. Italy
6. Scotland

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Six Nations - round 4

The fourth round of Six Nations has finished. On Saturday, Wales defeated Italy 24:3. It's not the first time when the Welsh team proved it has a great potential. They managed to control the game from start to finish. Italy, despite their very ambitious play in defence, was neither able to keep the home team away from their try line nor threaten the Welsh effectively.

In the second game, Scotland was beaten by Ireland 32:14. In this very exciting game, Scots demonstrated spectacular rugby however again had to admit the superiority of the rival.

It was suprising to see England defeating France in Paris 22:24. The English team was winning 3:14 after Foden and Tuilagi's tries. Saint-Andre's team got very close to changing the score in the last minute and winning when Trinh-Duc attempted a drop goal. Unluckily for the French the ball did not reach its destination.

The last round of Six Nations starts in a few days and it looks that we are going to experience another exciting rugby weekend. Wales will be aiming for the Grand Slam. To achieve that they do need to win the game in Cardiff. Stuart Lancaster's team is the only one, at least theoretically, to stand a chance of taking the cup away from the Welsh. For this to happen, England needs to win high against Ireland and France against Wales. This scenario is very unlikely, though. Also next week we will witness an interesting game between Scotland and Itlay. Its  outcome will decide who will take Wooden Spoon home.

Monday, 5 March 2012

France - Ireland second attempt

This time, the weather in Paris didn't interfere with Six Nations second round game.  The first half belonged to the Irish team. After successful interception in 13 minute, they were leading 0:7. Before half-time Irish added another converted try and penalty. Morgan Parra replied with two penalties. After 40 minutes of the game at Stade de France it looked like the visitors were about to surprise us. Ireland was wining 6:17.
The second half was more fortunate for France. They played more efficiently and started to catch up. Ireland failed to add more points to their scoreboard. The game finished with a 17:17 draw.

Situation in the table has changed. Currently, the only contender to the Grand Slam is Wales, which already have Triple Crown trophy under their belt. The tournament has still a lot to offer. With two more rounds to be played, there are four teams - Wales, France, England and Ireland -  and every one of them, at least in theory, has a chance to become a champion.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Collecting rugby badges - part one national rugby unions

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Rugby is not only about emotions connected with games. Apart from people who are involved in the game as supporters, players, coaches or workers there are plenty others who develop their passion on different grounds. The people I mean here are the collectors. Collecting sport memorabilia is almost as old as sport itself. It is difficult to count all objects of interest. The most popular are match programs, tickets, autographs or shirts. For those who are interested in this subject I can recommend two very interesting websites about rugby memorabilia: and
Collecting can bring you many benefits. The most obvious is increasing your knowledge, but it’s also worth looking at the historic aspect that collections bring. Exhibits can become the best witnesses of history. They show how sport has developed and changed. Sometimes, everyday use items can be very powerful and become a living-proof of the past.

I collect metal rugby pin badges. I’ve got more than 900 items in my collection and the number is constantly increasing. Some of the exhibits are valuable even now. I have badges of countries that have been erased from the world map, clubs that no longer exist or competitions that are no longer played. My collection's main criterion is based on the connection of pins with rugby union 15-men code. I have split my collection into five sections: national rugby unions, Rugby World Cup, tournaments and occasions and last but not least pins specially crafted to celebrate games

On my blog, I will show you my badges, share some tips with those who are interested - collectors, and newcomers who are taking their first steps on this ground. In the first part I would like to introduce my national unions pins.