Sport and Leisure/Rugby World Cup

From Quiz Revision Notes


The idea of a Rugby World Cup had been suggested on numerous occasions going back to the 1950s, but met with opposition from most unions in the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB).

The idea resurfaced several times in the early 1980s, with the Australian Rugby Union in 1983, and the New Zealand Rugby Union in 1984 independently proposing the establishment of a world cup. A proposal was again put to the IRFB in 1985 and this time successfully passed 10–6. The delegates from Australia, France, New Zealand and South Africa all voted for the proposal, and the delegates from Ireland and Scotland against; the English and Welsh delegates were split, with one from each country for and one against.

The Webb Ellis Cup is the prize presented to winners of the Rugby World Cup, named after William Webb Ellis. It stands 38 cm high and is silver gilded in gold, and supported by two cast scroll handles, one with the head of a satyr, and the other a head of a nymph. The trophy is restored after each game by fellow Royal Warrant holder Thomas Lyte.

An Acme whistle has started every Rugby World Cup Tournament since 1987. The whistle was first used in 1905 for a game between England and New Zealand

1987 New Zealand and Australia

Seven of the 16 places were automatically filled by IRFB members. South Africa were banned. Invitations were sent out to Argentina, Fiji, Italy, Canada, Romania, Tonga, Japan, Zimbabwe and the United States. Western Samoa were excluded

Pool stage

First game – New Zealand 70 Italy 6

New Zealand 74 Fiji 13; New Zealand 46 Argentina 15

Australia 19 England 6. England 60 Japan 7 (Mike Harrison scored a hat-trick). England 34 USA 6

Wales 13 Ireland 6 (Only try scored by Mark Ring)

France 70 Zimbabwe 12. France 20 Scotland 20 (First draw in the World Cup)

France topped Pool 4 on points difference over Scotland.


England 3 Wales 16. Gareth Roberts, Robert Jones and John Devereux scored tries for Wales

New Zealand 30 Scotland 3

Australia 33 Ireland 15

France 31 Fiji 16


France 30 Australia 24

New Zealand 49 Wales 6

Huw Richards of Wales became the first player to receive a red card in a Rugby World Cup tournament

Third place playoff

Wales 22 Australia 21. Winning try scored by Adrian Hadley

David Codey of Australia became the second player to receive a red card in a Rugby World Cup tournament


New Zealand 29 France 9. Match played at Eden Park, Auckland

Winning captain – David Kirk

Winning coach – Brian Lochore

Leading try scorers – Craig Green and John Kirwan (both New Zealand) 8

Leading points scorer – Grant Fox (New Zealand) 126

1991 England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France

Qualifying competition

The eight quarter-finalists from 1987 qualified automatically with the remaining twenty-five countries having to qualify for the remaining eight spots

After qualifying there was only one change from the 1987 tournament, with Western Samoa appearing in place of Tonga

Pool stage

Points system was changed to 3 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 1 point for a loss

First game: England 12 New Zealand 18. Only try scored by Michael Jones.

England 36 Italy 6. England 37 USA 9.

Scotland won Pool 2 with a 24-15 victory over Ireland

Wales beat Argentina, and lost to Australia

Wales 13 Western Samoa 16

When the final whistle went, the Welsh came off the field at Cardiff Arms Park and one of rugby's more famous quips was made – "Thank heavens Wales weren't playing the whole of Samoa"

Canada qualified from Pool 4 after victories over Fiji and Romania


France 10 England 19. Tries for Underwood and Carling. Played in Parc des Princes, Paris. After the final whistle French coach Daniel Dubroca manhandled referee David Bishop accusing him of being a cheat

Ireland 18 Australia 19. Winning try scored by Michael Lynagh

Scotland 28 Western Samoa 6

New Zealand 29 Canada 13


Scotland 6 England 9. Gavin Hastings kicked two penalties for Scotland but missed a penalty from in front of the posts. John Webb kicked two penalties and Rob Andrew kicked a drop goal for England

Australia 16 New Zealand 6

Third place playoff

New Zealand 13 Scotland 6


Australia 12 England 6. Match played at Twickenham

Only try scored by Tony Daly. Referee Derek Bevan denied England a penalty try when David Campese knocked forward a pass

Winning captain – Nick Farr-Jones. Winning coach – Bob Dwyer

Leading try scorers – Jean-Baptiste Lafond (France) and David Campese (Australia) 6

Leading points scorer – Ralph Keyes (Ireland) 68

1995 South Africa

Qualifying competition

The eight quarter-finalists from the 1991 Rugby World Cup all received automatic entry, as did South Africa, as hosts

Wales had to qualify

Côte d'Ivoire qualified for the only time

Fiji failed to qualify for the first time, having lost to Tonga and Western Samoa

Pool stage

First game – South Africa 27 Australia 18. Stransky scored 22 points

Following a fight in the match between South Africa and Canada, James Dalton (South Africa), Rod Snow and Gareth Rees (both Canada) were sent off

England 24 Argentina 18. Rob Andrew kicked six penalties and two dropped goals

England 27 Italy 20. England 44 Western Samoa 22. Jon Callard scored 21 points

New Zealand 145 Japan 17

New Zealand scored 21 tries, including a record 6 by Marc Ellis. Simon Culhane converted 20 of the tries and scored a record 45 points. Most points scored by a team in a World Cup match

In the match to decide the runners-up to New Zealand, Ireland beat Wales 24-23

Scotland 89 Ivory Coast 0. Gavin Hastings scored 44 points

In the match to decide the group winners, France beat Scotland 22-19

Romania scored 14 points in their pool matches, the lowest ever in a World Cup


England 25 Australia 22

Tony Underwood scored England’s only try. Rob Andrew dropped the winning goal with the final kick of the game

France 36 Ireland 12. Thierry Lacroix kicked eight penalties

New Zealand 48 Scotland 30

South Africa 42 Western Samoa 14. Chester Williams scored four tries


New Zealand 45 England 29

Jonah Lomu scored four tries, running through Mike Catt for one of the tries

New Zealand No. 8 Zinzan Brooke scored a drop goal

Will Carling and Rory Underwood each scored two consolation tries for England

South Africa 19 France 15. Only try scored by Ruben Kruger

Third place playoff

France 19 England 9


South Africa 15 New Zealand 12 (after extra time)

Match played at Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Joel Stransky scored three penalties and two drop goals for South Africa

Andrew Mehrtens scored three penalties and one drop goal for New Zealand

Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok rugby jersey and baseball cap, presented the Webb Ellis Cup to Francois Pienaar

Referee – Ed Morrison (England)

Winning captain – Francois Pienaar

Winning coach – Kitch Christie

Leading try scorers – Jonah Lomu and Marc Ellis (both New Zealand) 7

Leading points scorer – Thierry Lacroix (France) 112

1999 Wales, England, France, Scotland and Ireland

Qualifying competition

The tournament was expanded to 20 teams, divided into five pools of four teams. This meant a quarter-final playoff round involving the five runners-up and best third-placed team to decide who would join the pool winners in the last eight

Only four of the places were automatically allocated and did not have to play any qualification matches. These went to the champions, runners-up and the third-placed nations at the 1995 and the tournament host, Wales

England qualified by beating Netherlands 110-0 and Italy 23-15

Namibia qualified for the first time. They have played every subsequent World Cup

Spain qualified for the only time

Pool stage

First game – Wales 23 Argentina 18. Colin Charvis scored the first try

Wales beat Japan 64-15 but lost 38-31 to Samoa (Note – the whole of Samoa, not just Western Samoa)

England 16 New Zealand 30

England 67 Italy 7

England 101 Tonga 10. England scored 13 tries, 12 of which were converted by Paul Grayson

Ngalu Taufo'ou of Tonga was sent off after running ten metres to punch England flanker Richard Hill

New Zealand 101 Italy 3. New Zealand scored 16 tries, 11 of which were converted by Tony Brown

Argentina were the best third-place team

Spain is the only team not to score a try in the World Cup

Diego Ormaechea became the oldest try scorer in a World Cup game, aged 40, for Uruguay against Spain

Quarter-final playoffs

England 45 Fiji 24. Jonny Wilkinson kicked 23 points

Scotland 35 Samoa 20

Argentina 28 Ireland 24. David Humphries kicked all of Ireland’s points


South Africa 44 England 21

Jannie de Beer kicked 34 points, including a record five drop goals. Played at Stade de France

Wales 9 Australia 24

Scotland 18 New Zealand 30

Argentina 26 France 47


Both semi-finals were played at Twickenham

Australia 27 South Africa 21 (after extra time)

Matt Burke kicked eight penalties

France 43 New Zealand 31

New Zealand led 24-10 at half time. Christophe Lamaison scored 28 points

Third place playoff

South Africa 22 Australia 18


Australia 35 France 12

Matt Burke kicked 25 points for Australia

Christophe Lamaison kicked 12 points for France

Played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Winning captain – John Eales

Winning coach – Rod Macqueen

Leading try scorer – Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) 8

Leading points scorer – Gonzalo Quesada (Argentina) 102

2003 Australia

Qualifying competition

Of the 20 teams, eight of those places were automatically filled by the teams that reached the quarter-final stages in 1999

Ireland had to qualify

Georgia qualified for the first time

The teams were divided into four pools of five nations, with the top two in each pool moving on to the knock-out quarter-final stage

Bonus points were awarded for scoring 4 or more tries, or a loss by 7 points or fewer

Pool stage

First game: Australia 24 Argentina 8. First try scored by Wendell Sailor

Australia 90 Romania 8

Australia 142 Namibia 0

Australia scored a record 22 tries, with 16 converted by Mat Rogers. Chris Latham scored five tries. This remains the biggest winning margin in Rugby World Cup history

Ireland finished in second place in the group after beating Argentina 16-15

England 84 Georgia 6

England 25 South Africa 6. Will Greenwood scored the only try

England 35 Samoa 22

This match was marked by controversy, as England fielded 16 players at one point during the game

England 111 Uruguay 13

England scored 17 tries, with Josh Lewsey scoring five

Andy Miller's drop goal for Japan against Fiji, at 52 metres, remains the longest in Rugby World Cup history

New Zealand 91 Tonga 7

Wales qualified for the quarter-finals, despite losing their final match to New Zealand 53-37


England 28 Wales 17

Will Greenwood scored England’s only try. Jonny Wilkinson kicked 23 points

Australia 33 Scotland 16

France 43 Ireland 21

New Zealand 29 South Africa 9


Both semi-finals were played at Telstra Stadium

England 24 France 7

Jonny Wilkinson kicked five penalties and three drop goals

Australia 22 New Zealand 10

The match was decided by a Stirling Mortlock interception try, after a loose pass from Carlos Spencer. George Gregan taunted his opponents in defeat with the comment, "Four more years boys, four more years". Referred by Chris White (England)

Third place playoff

New Zealand 40 France 13


England 20 Australia 17 (after extra time)

Played at Telstra Stadium, Sydney

Lote Tuquri scored a try, Elton Flatley kicked four penalties for Australia

Jason Robinson scored a try, Jonny Wilkinson kicked four penalties and a drop goal for England

Wilkinson kicked the winning drop goal with 26 seconds on the clock

Referee – Andre Watson (South Africa)

Winning captain – Martin Johnson

Winning coach – Clive Woodward

England team – Lewsey, Robinson, Tindall, Greenwood, Cohen, Wilkinson, Dawson, Dallaglio, Back, Hill, Kay, Johnson, Vickery, Thompson, Woodman

Will Greenwood, for superstitious reasons, preferred to play wearing the number 13 shirt, even when selected to play inside centre

This is the only World Cup where no players were sent off

Leading try scorers – Doug Howlett, Mils Muliaina (both New Zealand) 7

Leading points scorer – Jonny Wilkinson (England) 113

2007 France, Wales and Scotland

Qualifying competition

Portugal's qualification was the only change in the 20-team roster from the 2003 World Cup, replacing Uruguay. This was the only time that Portugal qualified

After France won the right to host the 2007 World Cup, it was subsequently announced that four matches would be held in Wales, at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Ireland was to have hosted matches at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, but opted out because the stadium was being redeveloped. Two of Scotland's Pool matches were played at Murrayfield Stadium

Pool stage

First game: France 12 Argentina 17. Only try scored by Corleto. France's first defeat in the first round of the World Cup

Argentina played two sets of brothers – Felipe and Manuel Contepomi, Ignacio Fernandez and Juan Fernandez Lobbe

France 87 Namibia 10

Ireland were eliminated after losing 25-3 to France and 30-15 to Argentina

Georgia gained their first ever victory in the World Cup, against Namibia

England 0 South Africa 36

This was the first scoreless match for England at the World Cup; it was also the first time a past World Champion had failed to score in a World Cup match. Pietersen scored two tries for South Africa

England beat Tonga, Samoa, and USA to qualify

Phil Vickery was banned for two matches for tripping USA centre Paul Emerick

Wilkinson reached 1000 points in all internationals, in the match against Samoa

Andy Farrell scored his first try for England, against Samoa

Australia 91 Japan 3

Wales 72 Japan 18

Canada 12 Japan 12. Only drawn match in the World Cup

Fiji 38 Wales 34. Deciding match on Pool B. Winning try scored by Graham Dewes and converted by Nicky Little. Gareth Thomas won his 100th cap. Gareth Jenkins sacked as head coach of Wales

Shane Williams scored six tries in the tournament

Portugal played their first ever match in the World Cup, losing 56-10 to Scotland

New Zealand 108 Portugal 13. Nick Evans kicked 14 conversions

New Zealand 85 Romania 8

Scotland 0 New Zealand 40. Doug Howlett's two tries in this match brought his total in internationals to 48, a New Zealand record

Scotland qualified by defeating Italy 18-16 in the deciding match. Chris Patterson kicked six penalties

Alessandro Troncon won his100th cap for Italy in the match against Portugal


England 12 Australia 10. Wilkinson kicked four penalties. Lote Tuqiri scored the only try of the match

Drew Mitchell scored seven tries in the tournament

France 20 New Zealand 18. Winning try scored by Yannick Jauzion. Played in Cardiff

Wayne Barnes's refereeing of the match was criticised at the time by New Zealand fans in particular regarding a pass that was arguably forward and which allowed France to score the winning try. In 2012 former coach Graham Henry questioned the competency or impartiality of all the officials involved in the match

New Zealand scored 327 points in the tournament

South Africa 37 Fiji 20

Argentina 19 Scotland 13

Chris Paterson has 17 successful kicks from 17 attempts in the World Cup


England 14 France 9. Only try scored by Josh Lewsey, in his last game for England

South Africa 37 Argentina 13

Third place playoff (now known as the Bronze final)

Argentina 34 France 10


South Africa 15 England 6

Percy Montgomery kicked four penalties and Francois Steyn kicked one penalty for South Africa

Jonny Wilkinson kicked two penalties

Mark Cueto was denied a try by video referee Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

This was the second World Cup title for retiring prop Os du Randt, who was the last player from the 1995 World Cup winning team still active

Played at Stade de France, Saint-Denis

Man of the match – Victor Matfield

Referee – Alain Rowland (Ireland)

Winning captain – John Smit

Winning coach – Jake White

Leading try scorer – Bryan Habana (8)

Leading points scorer – Percy Montgomery (105)

2011 New Zealand

Qualifying competition

Three nations bid to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup — New Zealand, Japan, and South Africa

Twelve teams qualified as a result of finishing in the top three in each pool in the 2007 tournament. Of the 20 countries that competed in the previous World Cup in 2007, there was only one change – Russia replaced Portugal

Romania beat Uruguay in a playoff for the final place

Russia qualified for the only time

Pool stage

No matches were played in Christchurch due to an earthquake in February 2011

First game: New Zealand 41Tonga 10

New Zealand 83 Japan 7

France 14 Tonga 19

Richie McCaw won his 100th cap for New Zealand in the match against France

Canada 23 Japan 23. Second draw in the World Cup between these teams

England 13 Argentina 9. Ben Youngs scored the only try

Mike Tindall “acted inappropriately” while drinking in a Queenstown bar, where a “dwarf-throwing contest” was the primary entertainment

Manu Tuilagi fined for wearing a sponsored mouthguard

England 67 Romania 3. Ashton and Cueto scored hat-tricks

England 16 Scotland 12. Chris Ashton scored the only try

Argentina finished as runners- up in Pool B after beating Scotland 13-12

Ireland finished top of Pool C after beating Australia 15-6

South Africa finished top of Pool D after beating Wales 17-16. Toby Faletau scored the only try for Wales

South Africa 87 Namibia 0

Bryan Habana set a new South Africa try-scoring record

Wales 81 Namibia 7. Shane Williams scored a hat-trick

Stephen Jones won his 101st cap for Wales, against Namibia, overtaking the record of Gareth Thomas

George North became the youngest try scorer in a World Cup game, aged 19, against Namibia

Samoan coach fined 100 pigs for poor performance at World Cup


England 12 France 19. Foden and Cueto scored tries for England

Manu Tuilagi was detained by New Zealand police and subsequently fined £3000 by the England team for jumping into Auckland harbour from a ferry

Wales 22 Ireland 10

Australia 11 South Africa 9

New Zealand 33 Argentina 10. Piri Weepu kicked 7 penalties

Mils Muliaina won his 100th cap for New Zealand


France 9 Wales 8. Morgan Parra kicked three penalties for France. Mike Phillips scored the only try of the match

Sam Warburton was sent off after 18 minutes by the Irish referee Alain Rolland for a dangerous tackle on Vincent Clerc

New Zealand 20 Australia 6

Bronze final

Australia 21 Wales 18.

Refereed by Wayne Barnes. Gethin Jenkins captained Wales


New Zealand 8 France 7

Woodcock scored a try and Donald kicked a penalty for New Zealand

Dusautoir scored a try, converted by Trinh-Duc for France

Man of the match – Thierry Dusautoir

Referee – Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Played at Eden Park, Auckland

Winning captain – Richie McCaw

Winning coach – Graham Henry

Leading try scorers – Chrtis Ashton( England), Vincent Clerc (France) 6

Leading points scorer – Morne Steyn (South Africa) 62

2015 England

Qualifying competition

England, Japan, South Africa and Italy bid for the World Cup

In 2011 the IRB approved the use of the Millennium Stadium, despite being outside of the host country, due to its capacity and strategic location. Of the thirteen venues, only two are dedicated rugby union grounds (Kingsholm Stadium and Sandy Park)

Of the 20 countries competing in the World Cup in 2011, there was only one change – Uruguay replacing Russia. This was the first World Cup since 1987 with no new teams

Uruguay beat Russia in a repechage final to qualify

Seven teams were coached by New Zealanders

Pool stage

The draw was conducted in December 2012 in London, and used the World Rankings as of that day – which explains why England, Australia and Wales were all in Pool A

Wales lost centre Jonathan Davies, full-back Leigh Halfpenny and scrum-half Rhys Webb to long-term injuries before the tournament began

First game: England 35 Fiji 11

England 25 Wales 28

Winning try scored by Gareth Davies. Dan Biggar kicked 23 points

Jonny May scored England’s only try. Owen Farrell kicked 20 points

England 13 Australia 33. Bernard Foley scored 28 points. Anthony Watson scored England’s only try

England 60 Uruguay 3. Nick Easter and Jack Nowell scored hat-tricks

England became the first host nation to be eliminated at the World Cup in the group stages

Agustin Ormaechea of Uruguay was sent off against Fiji. This was the only red card in the tournament. Son of Diego Ormaechea

Australia 15 Wales 6

Japan 34 South Africa 32. Match played at Brighton Community Centre. Winning try scored by Karne Hesketh. Ayumu Goromaru scored 24 points

South Africa recovered from this shock defeat to top Pool B, beating Scotland 34-16 at St James’ Park

Bryan Habana equalled Jonah Lomu’s record of 15 tries in the World Cup by scoring a hat-trick against USA

George, Tusi and Ken Pisi become the first three brothers to play together at the Rugby World Cup, for Samoa

Scotland 36 Samoa 33. Grieg Laidlaw scored 26 points

Sean Lamont won his 100th cap for Scotland

Japan became the first team to win three pool games and still fail to advance to the knockout stage

Namibia 16 Georgia 17

The losing bonus point for Namibia was the country's first-ever competition point in a Rugby World Cup

Ma'a Nonu became the sixth All Blacks player to earn his 100th test cap, in the match against Tonga

Ireland beat Romania in front of a tournament record attendance of 89,267 at Wembley

Ireland topped Pool D after beating France 24-9 at the Millennium Stadium

Paul O’Connell retired after suffering a hamstring injury against France


South Africa 23 Wales 19

Fourie du Preez scored the winning try. Gareth Davies scored the only try for Wales

New Zealand 62 France 13

Julian Savea scored a hat-trick, and equaled Jonah Lomu and Bryan Habana's single-tournament record of eight tries

This was the largest winning margin in a Rugby World Cup knockout stage match

Argentina 43 Ireland 20

Nicolas Sanchez kicked 23 points

Australia 35 Scotland 34

Drew Mitchell scored two tries for Australia

Bernard Foley kicked the winning penalty which was incorrectly awarded by referee Craig Joubert, who ran straight off the field at the end of the match

Matt Giteau and Stephen Moore both won their100th test caps


This was the first Rugby World Cup where no Northern Hemisphere team reached the semi-finals. Both matches were played at Twickenham

New Zealand 20 South Africa 18

Handre Pollard kicked five penalties for South Africa

Australia 29 Argentina 15

Adam Ashley-Cooper scored a hat-trick

Bronze final

South Africa 24 Argentina 13. Played at the Olympic Stadium


New Zealand 34 Australia 17

Dan Carter kicked 19 points

The aggregate 51 points scored was the most ever in a World Cup final

Ben Smith (New Zealand) became the first player to receive a yellow card in a World Cup final

Played at Twickenham

Man of the match – Dan Carter

Referee – Nigel Owens

Winning captain – Richie McCaw

Winning coach – Steve Hansen

Sonny Bill Williams gives his Rugby World Cup winner medal to a young boy who was "smoked" in a tackle from a security guard after running on the field

Leading try scorer – Julian Savea (New Zealand) 8

Leading points scorer – Nicolas Sanchez (Argentina) 97

2019 Japan

Qualifying Competition

In July 2009, the International Rugby Board confirmed that England would host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and Japan would host the 2019 event

Six of the remaining eight spots available were filled by regional qualifiers with the additional two spots being filled by a play-off (Samoa beat Germany) and a repechage (won by Canada)

In the European group, Romania, Spain and Belgium all broke the eligibility rules and was deducted points which meant Russia qualified

Pool Stage

In the opening match, in Pool A, Japan beat Russia, and Kotaro Matsushima became the first Japanese player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup. Kirill Golosnitsky (Russia) scored the first try of the tournament

Kenki Fukuoka scored Japan’s only try in the win over Ireland

Japan also beat Scotland to finish top of Pool A

New Zealand beat South Africa in the opening match in Pool B, and topped the group

The three Barrett brothers (Beauden, Jordie, and Scott) all scored tries for New Zealand against Canada

The final two matches of the group (New Zealand v Italy and Namibia v Canada) were not played as due to Typhoon Hagibis and were recorded as 0-0 draws

England beat Tonga, USA and Argentina to finish top of Pool C. In the match against Argentina, Tomas Lavanini was sent off for a high tackle on Owen Farrell

The match between England and France was not played as due to Typhoon Hagibis and was recorded as a 0-0 draw

Wales topped Pool D after beating Australia 29-25. Dan Biggar scored the fastest drop goal in Rugby World Cup history, after 36 seconds

Josh Adams scored four tries for Wales against Fiji

Japan and Wales won all their matches

Russia and USA lost all their matches


Engand 40 Australia 16. Match played in Oita

Michael Cheika resigned as manager of Australia after the match

New Zealand 46 Ireland 14

Wales 20 France 19. Winning try scored by Moriarty. Sébastien Vahaamahina was sent off

South Africa 26 Japan 3


England 19 New Zealand 7. Tuilagi scored England’s only try. Ford kicked four penalties. Match played in Yokohama

South Africa 16 Wales 16. Adams scored Wales’s only try. Winning penalty kicked by Pollard. Match played in Yokohama

Bronze match

New Zealand 40 Wales 17


South Africa 32 England 12

Mapimpi and Kolbe scored tries for South Africa. Pollard kicked 22 points

Farrell scored four penalties for England

Played in Yokohama

Man of the match – Duane Vermeulen

Referee – Jerome Garces (France)

Winning captain – Siya Kolisi

Winning coach – Rassie Erasmus

Leading try scorer – Josh Adams (Wales) 7

Leading points scorer – Handre Pollard (South Africa) 69

2023   France

The France bid was chosen by World Rugby in 2017, ahead of bids by South Africa and Ireland

20 teams will take part


France have been beaten finalists on three occasions

Ireland have reached the quarter-final seven times

Fiji, Samoa, Canada and Japan have reached the quarter-finals

Japan and Canada have drawn twice at the World Cup. The only other drawn match was between France and Scotland

Most points overall – Jonny Wilkinson (227)

Wilkinson holds the records for most penalties and drop goals, but Dan Carter holds the record for most conversions

Wilkinson is the only player to have scored points in two finals

Most points in a tournament – Grant Fox (126) in 1987

Most appearances – Jason Leonard and Richie McCaw (22)

Gareth Rees (Canada) was the only player to play at the first four Rugby World Cups

Andre Watson is only referee to have officiated in two finals (1999 and 2003)