Rugby World Cup

The Rugby Union World Cup (English Rugby World Cup) is the most important international competition in rugby union and has been held since 1987 every four years under currently twenty participating men 's national teams. The tournament is organized by the International Rugby Board (IRB ), the rugby union 's governing body. The awarded trophy, the Webb Ellis Cup, named after William Webb Ellis, the invention of the game is attributed.

The Rugby Union World Cup after the Football World Cup and the Olympic Games one of the largest international sports tournaments in the world. Reigning world champion New Zealand ( 2011).

  • 5.1 Tournament Winner
  • 5.2 Country-specific success



A qualification was introduced in view of the second World Cup in 1991, when 24 nations played for eight of the 16 seats. At the first World Cup in 1987, there was no qualification. Seven teams qualified automatically as members of the World Association IRFB (International Rugby Football Board, today IRB ), the other nine teams were invited.

The previous format stipulated that the eight quarter- finalists of the previous tournament to participate without qualification, the remaining twelve seats were played by continent. Three teams came here from Africa, three from America, one from Asia, three from Europe and two from Oceania. The remaining two qualifying spots were among the teams who failed to qualify, ( repechage English) in a Barrage played. So the best is not directly qualified teams from Africa and Europe played against each other, the winner competes against an American team. To the last remaining position played a team from Oceania and one from Asia.

For the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, the three best teams in the tournament groups are 2007 qualified automatically, so then stand firm for twelve participants. This increases the willingness of the five -member groups still committed to fight for the third place.


In the current mode, the tournament under twenty teams over a month in one or more host countries is discharged. In the initial group stage, there are four groups of five teams. The four semi-finalists of the previous competition is split up into four groups, the remaining four quarter-finalists as well. The teams that have come through the qualification to participate, fill the remaining seats.

In the group stage, each team plays once against each of their group opponents, four points are awarded for a win and two points for a draw. Bonus points can be achieved when a team scores during a game four or more tries or losing by seven points or less difference. The top two teams from each group come to the quarterfinals, where in each case the winner of one group plays against the Second another. The quarter-final winners play among themselves from the semi-finals, in which the final opponent to be determined. The semifinal losers play for third place.


Before the introduction of the World Cup, there were rugby union sports several competitions in which teams played for the title. The oldest existing rugby tournament is the Six Nations and its predecessors, which is played between England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and later France and Italy since 2000. Although this tournament was a purely European affair, but it was one of the few regularly discharged competitions. Four times, 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924, rugby was part of the Summer Olympics. France won the first gold medal, it was followed by Australia, and the last two times won the United States. After the International Olympic Committee (IOC ) Rugby removed from the canon of sports.

The idea of ​​a World Cup dates back to the 1950s, however, the World Association IRFB made ​​(now IRB) its members realized that he strictly reject such a competition. At the beginning of the 1980s, the idea came to the fore again in 1983 and declined again to a IRFB session. The Australian Rugby Union ( ARU) and the New Zealand Rugby Football Union ( NZRFU ), the associations of Australia and New Zealand, then independently authored a letter that the IRFB asked to conduct a World Cup. 1985 this idea was despite resistance, especially from the Irish and British delegation members, accepted and awarded the alignment of the first World Cup logical to Australia and New Zealand. The deciding vote came from the South African delegates who supported the project, even though they knew that a boycott due to apartheid would make it impossible for them to participate in the competition.

Among the 16 participating nations, the New Zealand All Blacks emerged as the winners after they defeated France in the final with 29:9. England hosted the next World Cup; individual games, however, were held in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France. Australia won the final with 12:6 about the host England. 1995 returned the Springboks from South Africa after the end of apartheid on the international stage back. As a host, they also won the tournament after a final win against New Zealand. Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok jersey and matching baseball cap, handed captain Francois Pienaar the trophy. The course of the tournament and said scene are also a central part of the film Invictus - Invictus by Clint Eastwood.

Wales hosted the Rugby Union World Cup in 1999, more games took place in the rest of the United Kingdom and France. This year the number of participants was increased from 16 to 20. Australia won the world title with a win over France for the second time. The next tournament was originally to be held jointly by Australia and New Zealand; Differences between the IRB and the NZRFU on sponsorship, advertising and ticket sales meant that Australia was intended for the sole host of the Rugby Union World Cup 2003. England won the title with a win over Australia, and the first time was a world champion from the northern hemisphere. 750,000 people gathered in London to celebrate the returning team.

The Rugby Union World Cup 2007 was held in France, some games have been played in Wales and Scotland. South Africa won the final victory over defending champion England for the second time after 1995 the world title.

In November 2005, New Zealand was chosen to host the Rugby Union World Cup 2011. The final was like 1987 again New Zealand - France; with a tight 8-7 victory could the All Blacks win the second time the world title.

On 28 July 2009, the IRB announced that the World Championships are aligned in 2015 and 2019 respectively from England Japan. For the first time, the Association appointed the host of the upcoming title two games simultaneously. In addition to England and Japan, Italy and South Africa had also advertised.

Determination of the host

The host country is chosen by the IRB members. The tournament is organized by the Rugby World Cup Ltd ( RWCL ). The electoral process is controlled by several independent notaries, the choice remains secret. So far found all the championships held in countries where the rugby is very popular. With the election of New Zealand to host in 2011, this trend continues: Japan, a traditionally weaker rugby nation, could not prevail. Meanwhile, the host is determined five or six years before the start of the event.

The choice of host is a controversial issue. It is assumed that candidates to be host to make secret agreements with the voting IRB members. So it was in 2006 speculated that the Argentine rugby union voted for New Zealand to take part as consideration to a regularly scheduled tournament outside the World Championship must.


The tournament is one behind the World Cup and the Olympic Games, the largest sporting events in the world. The first edition of 1987 had a cumulative television audience of 300 million worldwide. In 1991, the range was 1.75 billion, in 1995 this figure rose to 2.67 billion in 1999, it amounted to three billion. The global cumulative reach in 2003 rose to 3.5 billion; The final was televised in 205 countries. In the 48 matches 1,837,547 spectators were present in the stadiums, which corresponds to an average of 38 282.

Total so far 24 teams have participated in finals of the Rugby Union World Cup.

Of all the seven previous tournaments that only in 2003 was won by a team from the northern hemisphere. However, the north has to date every time - apart from 1995 - a finalist. Of the teams that played for third place in the small final, also came half from Europe.

Facts and Records

The performance difference between the top teams in the world and the weaker teams came clearly to light in 1987: The New Zealand All Blacks scored 74 points in the game against Fiji and France scored 13 attempts against Zimbabwe. Most points in a World Cup game also made ​​the All Blacks with 145 in 1995 against Japan. The biggest point of difference, however, is 142, scored by Australia against Namibia at the World Cup 2003.

In his international breakthrough in 1995 the New Zealander Jonah Lomu set several individual record labels. He still holds the record for most attempts in World Cup finals - 15 in the two tournaments in 1995 and 1999 - and most attempts in the finals -. Eighth in 1999 This record was achieved in 2007 by Bryan Habana (South Africa) again. More New Zealand World Cup players hold world records - including Grant Fox scored in 1987 with 126, most points in a tournament, Simon Culhane scored the most points in a game with 45 in the record match against Japan. In the same match he also broke the record for most increases in a game, he met twenty times, while Marc Ellis scored six most attempts in a single game. Sean Fitzpatrick, the longtime All- Blacks captain, played the most World Cup matches with 17 between 1987 until 1995. Between 1999 and 2007, the English Jonny Wilkinson scored a record 249 points.