Know Everything about Rugby World Cup here


Important to know about these Rugby World Cup facts

Started in: 1987

Number of teams allowed to participate: 20

Current Holders: New Zealand All Blacks

Most Number of Titles Won by: New Zealand All Blacks, Australia Wallabies and South Africa Springboks – 3 times each.

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Brief Introduction to the Rugby World Cup

All the 20 qualified for the Rugby World Cup plays for the William Webb Ellis Cup, which is named after a student William Webb Ellis, who as per a popular mythology invented the game of Rugby by accident when he was playing Football. The first ever World Cup Rugby tournament was held in 1987 which was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia two of the powerhouses of the game. The last Rugby World Cup was held in 2011 which was hosted by New Zealand. New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have won the Rugby World Cup twice since its inception in 1987.

How teams can qualify for a Rugby World Cup?

There are total 20 places available as we have mentioned, out of which twelve teams qualify automatically as per their performances in previous tournament. These 12 teams must have finished in top 3 positions in their respective groups. Remaining 8 places are filled by a region-based qualification system, where Europe and Americas are allowed 2 places each and Oceania, Asia and Africa are allowed one place each. The remaining place will be filled up by a playoff.

The Rugby World Cup Tournament Format

  • The Rugby World Cup will be played over six weeks.
  • Two Stages – Group and Knock Out.
  • Teams are seeded as per the IRB World Rankings.
  • Four highest ranked teams from the rankings placed in four different pools A to D randomly.
  • Then the next four ranked teams will be placed below them in the same manner described above.
  • Each team plays four pool games with their co-members in the pool for ones.
  • If two or more teams are level on points higher ranked team will qualify for the next round.
  • The winner and the runner up from the each group will qualify for the knockout round and play against other pool winners and runners up respectively.
  • Top 8 teams then qualify for the quarter finals.
  • Winners of the quarterfinals will play semis and then the winners of the semis will play for the Final.
  • Two losing teams of the semi finals plays for the third place play off, which is called ‘Bronze Final’.
  • If there is a tie in qualifying games, then extra time is awarded, if then also the result is not possible then sudden death will decide the result in which the first point scorer will be declared as a winner. Even then there is no result; a kicking competition will be officiated.

How the IRB selects the World Cup Hosts?

The selection of the hosts of a Rugby World Cup starts five to six years in advance. It is done by a secret voting by all the IRB World Cup members which is overlooked by a private auditing company. There can be a bid to host the Rugby World Cup jointly as well. The stadium in which the finals are supposed to be hosted must have a capacity of at least 60, 000 fans as per minimum requirement by IRB.

IRB Rugby World Cup Winners till now

  • 1987 – Hosts: Australia and New Zealand
    • Winners: New Zealand
    • Runners Up: France
    • 3rd place: Wales
    • 4th place: Australia
  • 1991 – Hosts: England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
    • Winners: Australia
    • Runners Up: England
    • 3rd place: New Zealand
    • 4th place: Scotland
  • 1995 – Host: South Africa
    • Winners: South Africa
    • Runners Up: New Zealand
    • 3rd Place: France
    • 4th Place: England
  • 1999 – Host: Wales
    • Winners: Australia
    • Runners Up: France
    • 3rd Place: South Africa
    • 4th Place: New Zealand
  • 2003 – Hosts: Australia
    • Winners: England
    • Runners Up: Australia
    • 3rd place: New Zealand
    • 4th place: France
  • 2007 – Hosts: France
    • Winners: South Africa
    • Runners Up: England
    • 3rd place: Argentina
    • 4th place: France
  • 2011 – Hosts: New Zealand
    • Winners: New Zealand
    • Runners Up: France
    • 3rd place: Australia
    • 4th place: Wales
  • 2015 – Hosts: England


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