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Peter Upton's

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Focus On....

RK - The Rugby Kicker Fullback.

Undoubtedly the best part of the revamped Subbuteo rugby game was the kicker fullback, which made scoring penalties and conversions such a joy. If anything, it was too easy to use, as with minimal practise it was possible to kick penalties from one end of the field to the other (or probably from two or three pitches away). The first sets used this figure for all types of kicking, but the rules stated that players could only attempt three drop goals a match. A wise move, otherwise the game might as well have been one of those half-time hitting the crossbar competitions. What else were you going to do? Dribbling the ball in Subbuteo rugby is a uniquely frustrating experience.

That said, little beats the sheer joy when your opponent unexpectedly slices a kick wildly off target...

This page follows the Focus On C131and C132 page, which showed some of the corner kickers and throw-in takers in their more unusual colours. However, the fun in collecting rugby kickers is that none of the original 26 team references are really uncommon. As collectors quickly become aware, the rugby sets did not follow the football in having standard red/blue teams in the boxed set. Although early sets are often red and white hoops versus blue and white hoops, the 1970s sets could feature anyone. As each team had a specially painted kicker, the chances of picking up a good selection is therefore increased in the second hand market. In addition of course, the kicker fullback was released as a separate accessory RK. This was originally supplied in a box, before moving to a bag with header card. Both types exist in reasonable numbers within the community. I suspect there was still unsold stock floating around in the 1990s.

However, the 1-26 range is not the whole story. Subbuteo Sports Games increased the range in 1978 adding eleven more references, and altering three existing sides - R19, R24 and R25. These were all rugby league sides, and the teams are very rare. The kickers seem to be even rarer (although a few can be repainted). There were also nine Italian teams done as a "special" for distributor Edilio Parodi. However, I am unconvinced that the Italians also ordered kickers for these sides.

Whilst the main purpose of this page is simply to display all the colours that were produced, it also looks at the variations to kickers. As there are not too many kickers to cover, this page is split into blocks of five. This will hopefully give more room for the teams that need extra notes.

The Early Kicker.

 

The earliest kicker produced looked much more like a toy. Although they don't seem to have a long life, the original box set seems to have sold well, so finding these kickers in red/white and blue/white hoops is not too difficult. Other references seem to be more unusual. However, they do turn up boxed, so keep your eyes peeled. These will be illustrated when they are sent to me!

The Standard kicker with grooved base and riser, and without (boxes).
The Standard kicker without riser bagged.

 

The more familiar updated kicker originally retained the base and riser from the first sets, but this proved an unnecessary complication and was dropped. You can get boxed kickers with or without the telltale grooved base, but the bagged kickers are all of the later type. Both boxes and bags should have reference number stickers, but like a lot of Subbuteo, these have often gone missing.

The Standard Kicker Checklist. Part 1. The original 26 sides.

Code

Teams

Shirts

Shorts

R1

Australia, Bramley

Amber or gold

Black

R2

England, Swansea

White

White

R3

France, Scotland

Blue

White

R4

Ireland, South Africa

Green

White

R5

New Zealand, Wasps

Black

Black

Code

Teams

Shirts

Shorts

R6

Wales, Salford

Red

White

R7

Barbarians

Light and dark blue hoops

White

R8

Blackheath

Red and black hoops

White

R9

Bradford Northern

White with red/amber/black hoops

White

R10

Halifax, North Shields, Bristol, Widnes

Blue and white hoops

White

Code

Teams

Shirts

Shorts

R11

Castleford

Yellow with black collar and cuffs

White

R12

Hull Kingston Rovers

White with red band

White

R13

Leigh, Oldham, Batley, Wigan

Red and white hoops

White

R14

Newport

Black and amber hoops

White

R15

Plymouth Albion

White with red and green bands

White

Code

Teams

Shirts

Shorts

R16

St. Helens

White with red "V"

White

R17

Wakefield Trinity

White with red and blue bands

White

R18

Workington Town

White with blue band

White

R19

Cardiff

Sky blue and navy blue hoops

White

R20

Leeds

Blue with amber bands

White

Code Teams Shirts Shorts

R21

Huddersfield

Claret and gold (or amber) hoops

White

R22

Dewsbury, Sunderland, Harrogate

Red, amber and black hoops

White

R23

Sale, Sheffield, Featherstone (later 32)

Blue and white hoops

Blue

R24

Hunslet

A) White with chocolate chest band

Blue

R25

Rochdale Hornets

A) Red/white hoops on blue

White

R26

Doncaster, Warrington (later R34)

White with yellow and blue bands

White

The 1978 Variations.

I've made these pictures a bit bigger, as they are unusual sides.

 

Code Teams Shirts Shorts

R19

Cardiff

Sky blue and navy blue hoops

Black

R24

 Hunslet

B) Green with white collar and "V"

White

R25

 Rochdale Hornets

B) white with amber/blue/amber chestbands

White

The 1978 Expansion R27-R37

Okay, not a lot of pictures in this section. Can you help out?

Code TeamsShirts Shorts Socks

R27

Huyton

Amber with large black and red "V"

Black

Black w/red and amber tops

R28

Keighley

White with large red and green "V"

White

White w/red and green tops

R29

Whitehaven

White with chocolate brown/blue/amber chestbands

White

White w/brown and blue tops

R30

Blackpool Borough

Black with white collar and large amber "V"

Black

Black with amber tops

R31

Barrow

Blue with white collar and large white "V"

White

Blue

R32

Featherstone Rovers

Black and white hoops

Black

White with black tops

R33

Swinton

Blue with white collar and large white "V"

White

White with blue tops

R34

Warrington/Northampton

Dark green with amber collar

Dark green

Amber with dark green tops

R35

York

Amber and black hoops

Black

Black with amber tops

R36

Hull

Black and white hoops

White

Black

R37

Widnes

White

Black

Black

That's about it for this range. Time to pick another destination.


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