In less than 12 months the World’s third biggest party kicks off in Paris with the Webb-Ellis Trophy up for grabs. In the tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup 20 teams will vie for the honor of hoisting this trophy aloft on October 28th, 2023.
It all began in 1987 with the inaugural World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand. That tournament saw some entertaining rugby, none more so than the semi-final between the Wallabies and France at Concord Oval in Sydney, eventually won by Les Bleus that went on to play the All Blacks at Eden Park. The All Blacks won this inaugural tournament, but it would take them another 24 years to hoist the Webb-Ellis trophy aloft, ironically at the same Eden Park against the same foe in the French, this time led by Thierry Dusautoir.
In the following eight tournaments the Springboks have been in seven tournaments with a 3 from 3 World Cup finals appearances at 100%, the All Blacks have won 3 from 4 World Cup finals appearances at 75%, the Wallabies have won 2 from 4 World Cup finals appearances at 50%, the English have won 1 from 4 World Cup finals appearances at 25%, and the French have won 0 from 3 World Cup finals appearances at 0%. The statistics would suggest that South Africa is the most successful, especially considering they did not compete in the first two tournaments due to apartheid. On the other end of the scale France has competed in three finals losing all three, though nearly beat the All Blacks in 2011. However, the hosts of next year’s tournament are the odds-on favourite to take out their home World Cup.
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