Every four years, one of the world’s most popular and most viewed rugby tournaments take place – the Rugby World Cup. The most recent world cup took place in Japan in 2019 with South Africa being crowned the champions.
In 2023, the world will once again gather to watch the thrilling spot as it’s hosted by France. Here are a few things that you may not know about it.
14 Rugby World Cup Facts
- The top points scorer in the Rugby World Cup finals history is Jonny Wilkinson. In 2003, he scored 277 points through 28 conversions, 14 drop-goals, 58 penalties, and one try.
- The most tries scored in a competition is 8, with the record being shared by Jonah Lomu and Bryan Habana.
- The Canadians are the only team to receive two red cards in one game – the same game in which Canada lost 20-0 to South Africa.
- The same whistle is used at the opening match of every Rugby World Cup. This tradition was started in 1905.
- The world’s most impressive defeat took place in 2003 when the Wallabies beat Namibia 142-0.
- Jason Leonard, England’s prop, has been in four World Cups and has made 22 appearances within them.
- Overachiever Rudie van Vuuren from Namibia took part in both the rugby and cricket World Cups in 2003.
- The youngest try-scorer in the World Cup finals is George North from Wales. He was 19 years and 166 days at the time – he scored two tries against Namibia in 2011.
- The World Cup record for drop goals took place in 1999 when Jannie de Beer score five in the quarter-finals.
- In 1995, Marc Ellis scored six tries in a single match – the most ever scored in a World Cup game.
- In a shocking turn of events, 2007 was the only year where the All Blacks were unable to make it to the semi-finals.
- There is a Women’s Rugby World Cup, and New Zealand were crowned the champions in 2017. The next tournament is set to take place in 2021.
- South Africa and New Zealand are the only countries to have won a world cup three times, while Australia has won twice.
- Legend has it that (rather incorrectly it seems) that William Webb Ellis invented rugby, which is why the World Cup trophy has been named after him.
The More You Know
Whether you’re a rugby fan or looking to brush up on your knowledge for trivia night, we hope that these facts have given you a unique insight into the world of rugby. Who knows, maybe by the time the next World Cup comes around you’ll have even more knowledge of the action-packed game to truly enjoy the experience of it all.