22 Oct 2008

Historic rugby ticket to go under hammer

7:06 pm on 22 October 2008

A 120-year-old ticket from the first ever international rugby union match, between England and New South Wales, is to be sold at auction in November.

The ticket commemorates the first British rugby tour abroad, which was played at the Association Cricket Ground in Sydney on 4 August 1888.

The first official international match between England and Australia did not happen for another 20 years, until after federation, in London.

The ticket will be auctioned with a New South Wales Waratah cloth badge and together are expected to fetch up to $A2,800 at the sale by Charles Leski Auctions in Melbourne.

The 1888 tour was marred by tragedy - the British captain died in a boating accident and was replaced by a man who had just completed a tour of Australia with the English cricket team.

In addition, members played a number of Australian Rules Football matches in Victoria and South Australia to help cover their expenses.

The auction will also include the sale of an Olympic torch from the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.