The Rugby World Cup is an international rugby union competition established in 1987. It is contested by the men’s national teams of the member unions of the sport’s governing body, World Rugby, and takes place every four years. The winners of the first final were New Zealand, who beat France. South Africa are the latest winners, having won the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The Rugby World Cup final is the last match of the competition. The winning team is declared world champion and receives the Webb Ellis Cup. If the score is a draw after 80 minutes of regular play, an additional 20-minute period of play, called extra time, is added. If the score remains tied, an additional 10 minutes of sudden-death extra time are played, with the first team to score points immediately declared the winner. If no team is able to break the tie during extra time, the winner is ultimately decided by a penalty shootout.Two of the eight finals contested have gone to extra time: South Africa’s victory against New Zealand in the 1995 final, and England’s triumph against Australia in the 2003 final.
New Zealand and South Africa are the most successful teams in the history of the tournament, with three wins each. New Zealand is the only team to have won consecutive tournaments, with their victories in the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups. Australia have won the competition twice, while England have one win; they are the only nation from the Northern Hemisphere to have won the competition. France are the only team to appear in a final without ever winning one, losing all three finals they have contested. Note that South Africa, due to international sanctions, was not permitted to play in the 1987 and 1991 tournaments.
Click on the year for more information about each tournament, and click on the country names for more information about that county’s participation in the World Cup.
The 2023 Final will be played between New Zealand and South Africa
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