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Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup will run from Friday 18th September to Saturday 31st October 2015

The Rugby World Cup was first held in 1987, in Australia and New Zealand, and ever since New Zealand won the first tournament it has continued to determine the pecking order in world rugby.

In 1991 when the RWC was first staged in the northern hemisphere, England reached the final at Twickenham, only to lose to Australia. Despite this defeat, the interest generated by the competition helped to raise the profile of rugby in Great Britain and Ireland, and ultimately ushered in the professional era.

The 1995 RWC in post-apartheid South Africa also helped destroy the image of rugby as being a white man's game there, with Nelson Mandela wearing the Springbok jersey, and again wearing a Springbok cap as he presented the trophy to Francois Pienaar upon South Africa's victory over the All Blacks after extra time.

The first RWC of the professional era in 1999 saw one of the first major upsets, as Ireland were beaten by Argentina, heralding the arrival of the Latin Americans on the world stage. France famously beat New Zealand to reach the final, but had nothing left in the tank and were beaten by Australia, who became the first nation to win the RWC twice.

Australia almost also became the first RWC winners to retain the cup in 2003, but lost on home soil to England, who became the first, and so far the only, nation from the northern hemisphere to win the trophy.

In 2007, against all expectation England again made it through to the final, where they faced a South African team who had convincingly beaten them in the earlier group stage. The contest was a lot closer this time, with England showing the same bloody-minded determination that had got them to the final, but South Africa were the better side, and won their second RWC.

In RWC 2011, New Zealand were probably the hottest ever favourites to win the cup, and they duly obliged by beating France in the final, to join Australia and South Africa as two time winners.

So what will happen in 2015 when the Rugby World Cup comes to England? Will one of the southern hemisphere giants become the first to win it three times? Will England win on home soil to join them on two victories apiece? Or will another of the northern hemisphere nations reach the pinnacle of world rugby?

It's all to play for.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
Australia South Africa New Zealand France
England Samoa Argentina Ireland
Wales Scotland Tonga Italy
Oceania 1 Asia 1 Europe 1 Americas 1
Playoff Winner Americas 2 Africa 1 Europe 2

 

FULL LIST OF PROVISIONAL RUGBY WORLD VENUES

  • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton
  • Ashton Gate, Bristol
  • Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
  • Coventry Stadium, Coventry
  • Pride Park, Derby
  • Kingsholm, Gloucester
  • Elland Road, Leeds
  • Leicester City Stadium, Leicester
  • Olympic Stadium, London
  • Twickenham Stadium, London
  • Wembley Stadium, London
  • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Stadiummk, Milton Keynes
  • St James’ Park, Newcastle
  • St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
  • Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Rugby World Cup 2015 Presention