Rugby World Cup 2023 will be the 10th time the game's global showpiece has been staged and the second time it will be held in France in its entirety. It kicks off in Paris on Sept. 8 when the tournament hosts face New Zealand at Stade de France in Paris.
Here are all the basics you need to know.
What is the Rugby World Cup?
The Rugby World Cup is the game's flagship event, and is held every four years across the globe. The tournament was first staged in 1987 in New Zealand and Australia, with eight further editions having been played since. The event is owned and operated by World Rugby and features 20 teams from across the globe who have all qualified either by virtue of the last World Cup, regional qualifying or repechage.
What is the format of the Rugby World Cup?
The Rugby World Cup is contested by 20 nations who have been divided into four pools of five teams: Pool A, Pool B, Pool C and Pool D. The top two countries in each pool then qualify for the quarterfinals, before the knockout stage then moves to the semifinals and final.
The four pools are as follows:
Which countries have won the Rugby World Cup?
Only four countries have won the Rugby World Cup. New Zealand [1987, 2011, 2015] and South Africa [1995, 2007, 2019] have each won the tournament three times, while Australia have been crowned champions twice [1991, 1999] and England once .
Who won the last Rugby World Cup?
South Africa won the last Rugby World Cup, defeating England 32-12 in Yokohama, Japan. This was the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia, where tournament hosts Japan made the quarterfinals for the first time.
Where is the Rugby World Cup being held?
Rugby World Cup 2023 is being held across France, with 12 venues selected to host games across the country. They are: Stade de France [Paris], Stadium de Toulouse, Stade de la Beaujoire [Nantes], Stade de Marseille, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard [Saint-Etienne], Stade Pierre Mauroy [Lille], OL Stadium [Lyon], Stade de Nice, Stade de Bordeaux.
Who are the favourites for the Rugby World Cup?
Australian bookmakers tab.com.au have New Zealand as tournament favourites [$3.50], while France [$4], South Africa [$5.25] and Ireland [$6] are also rated strong chances of winning Rugby World Cup 2023.
How many players are in a Rugby World Cup squad?
Every team is permitted 33 players in their squad for the Rugby World Cup. You can find all 20 squads here.
How did the Rugby World Cup get its name?
The Rugby World Cup was created in 1985 when delegates from Australia and New Zealand tabled a proposal to the then International Rugby Board at a meeting in Paris. Though there was resistance from some Unions, a vote to stage a World Cup was eventually passed 10-6, with New Zealand and Australia awarded hosting rights for the inaugural tournament in 1987. New Zealand were crowned the first Rugby World Cup champions when they defeated France 29-9 at Eden Park, Auckland.
What is the trophy awarded for winners of the Rugby World Cup?
The winners of the Rugby World Cup are awarded the Webb Ellis Cup, named in honour of English schoolboy William Webb Ellis who is acknowledged as being the inventor of rugby by virtue of his decision to pick up the ball and run with it during a football match at Rugby School in 1823. While the claim is disputed, Webb Ellis is entrenched in rugby folklore. The trophy itself was made in 1906 and selected from London's Royal Jewelers, Garrards, Harris St. London, in the lead-up to the inaugural tournament in 1987. It is made of sterling silver and has been gilded in gold.
What are the Rugby World Cup extra-time rules?
In the pool phase of Rugby World Cup 2023, if teams are drawn at fulltime then no extra-time will be played.
In the knockout phase, if teams are drawn at fulltime, 10 minutes of extra time each way will be played. If teams are still drawn after the additional 20 minutes, then a further 10 minutes of "sudden death" will be played. If the team are still drawn after 'sudden death' extra time, then a kicking competition will be staged to determine the game's winner.
How can I watch the Rugby World Cup?
Rugby World Cup 2023 will be broadcast around the world. The host broadcasters in each territory are:
Australia: Stan Sport/Nine Network
Argentina: ESPN Latin America/Star+
New Zealand: Sky Sport/Prime
Ireland: RTE/Virgin Media
France: TF1/France TV/M6
Japan: NHK/Nippon TV/J-Sports
South Africa: SuperSport
United Kingdom: ITV
United States: NBC
What is the prize money for the Rugby World Cup?
World Rugby is yet to confirm the prizemoney for Rugby World Cup 2023 and did not respond to ESPN's request for information regarding prizemoney figures.
Individual Unions often offer win bonuses for their players if they are successful in lifting the Webb Ellis Cup; they are determined by the governing rugby body in each country.