Rugby World Cup History

When Was the First Tournament Held?

The Rugby world cup has been around since the year 1987, giving scores of men the perfect forum to showcase their strength, speed and agility while providing onlookers with a constant supply of excitement and a continuous rush of adrenaline. Nevertheless, this sport is no longer gender-specific as women are now big contributors to the increased popularity of the sport. Rugby in its simplest terms can be described as a football game that involves a total of either 26 or 30 players depending on the nature of the event.

The Rugby World Cup, as we know it follows the same four-year principle applied to the Olympics as well as the Football World Cup. Pioneered by New Zealand and Australia in 1987 as the two first host countries, this event has definitely blossomed into a signature and well-anticipated event. The very first Rugby World cup tournament saw the participation of 16 nations through invitation. This listing included nations from all over the globe; Africa, Europe, Americas just to name a few. At this premier event, New Zealand was greatly rewarded as they basked in the sea of victory and took the title home. The odds were definitely in their favour.

  • Rugby World Cup Tournament (1991)

It is often said that all good things must come to an end; sadly this was the reality of New Zealand’s victory. In 1991 Australia became the new Sherrif in town by making it through the preliminary round that was newly implemented, all the way to the final showdown involving Britain. At this time, the tournament was being hosted by Great Britain, Ireland and France; nevertheless the Australians were brave enough to claim victory British soil.

  • Rugby World Cup Tournament (1995)

In the earlier stages of the World cup, South Africa played a major role in convincing the other nations to take part in the event by casting a vote in its favour. Four years after the 1991 Rugby World Cup tournament, the 1995 event was brought to South Africa where history was made with a shift in the of South Africa as opposed to that of the Rugby World Cups of 1991 or 1987. South Africa came out victorious at the event, winning the pioneering New Zealand team.

  • Rugby World Cup Tournament (1999)

The initial proceedings of the Rugby World Cup tournament were resumed to an extent at the 1999 world cup decentralization of the matches, improvements were made however to the requirements necessary for qualification. Stemming from the 1991 tournament, only the winners and the respective runner-ups would be admitted automatically without having to participate in a preliminary round. This 1999 Rugby World Cup, saw Wales as the host country, with matches held in Scotland, England and other countries. Wales didn’t seem to catch on to the trend of its predecessors, however, as they were outshined by Australia at the event. Unfortunately, Australia was not the favourite for the win, neither was Wales, so many hearts were broken when it was taken from the arms of the South Africans.


Since the hosting of the 1999 Rugby world cup, the events of 2003-2015 have followed. Each event has cemented memories of pride, joy and even sadness into the hearts of lovers of the sport and the highly anticipated event will be making its way to Japan in 2019 to crown a new Champion.