The Rugby World Cup pits the best 20 international test teams against one another every four years. The Rugby World Cup 2015 is scheduled to get underway September 18th in England. The championship final will be held at Twickenham Stadium on October 31st. Japan will host the event in 2019.
Rugby World Cup 2015 History
The first Rugby World Cup tournament took place in 1987 and included 16 teams. The 16-team field remained in place until the current 20-team format was installed in 1999. In the inaugural championship final, New Zealand hammered France, 29-9. In the bronze medal game, Wales edged Australia, 22-21.
The William Webb Ellis Cup is handed out to the winner of the tournament. Some claim that Webb Ellis is directly responsible for creating the game. New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have hoisted the Cup two times apiece. England captured the other remaining Cup in 2003. France has reached the final three times only to lose each match.
The United States has had very little success at the Rugby World Cup. The Americans have posted no more than a single victory in all of their six tournament appearances. The U.S. has also been held winless on three occasions. Overall, the U.S. is a woeful 3-18 all-time in the tournament. Two of the Americans’ three all-time wins are over Japan.
New Zealand holds the all-time record for points in a single match with 145. The total came in a 145-16 victory over Japan in 1995. The record for the biggest margin of victory belongs to Australia, which hammered Namibia 142-0 in 2003. In all, there have been 10 shutouts in the history of the tournament. The last was a 66-0 win for Wales over Fiji in 2011. New Zealand’s Grant Fox holds the record for most points in a single tournament with 126 in 1987.
Along with the FIFA World Cup, the Olympic Games and the Tour de France, the Rugby World Cup is one of the most popular international sporting events in the world. Just over four billion people watched the tournament in 2007. In 2011, just under 1.5-million people attended the 48 matches.
Download: Rugby World Cup 2015 Knockout Stage