20 Rugby World Cup Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

16. Northern first

The first (and only so far) non-southern hemisphere country to win the world cup was England in 2003.


17. The Trophy

The World Cup winners are awarded the William Webb Ellis Cup – William Webb Ellis was the Rugby School pupil who, according to popular myth, invented the game.

A picture shows the Webb Ellis Cup, the trophy awarded to the winner of the Rugby World Cup, during a photo call at a press conference to launch the venues and schedule for the 2015 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham Stadium in west London, on May 2, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

18. Captain Fantastic

New Zealand legend Richie McCaw is the only captain to win consecutive Rugby World Cup wins (2011 & 2015).


19. Oh no…

England are the only host nation who failed to get out of their pool during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.


20. How does the Rugby World Cup work?

There are 20 teams at the Cup.

They are: Ireland, Scotland, Russia, Japan, Samoa, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia, Italy, England, France, USA, Tonga, Argentina, Australia, Wales, Fiji, Uruguay, Georgia and Canada

There are four pools of five countries. Sides play all the others in their pool play. The top two in each pool go into the knock-out stages.

Teams progress through quarter-finals to semi-finals and then to a final, if successful. There is also a third and fourth play-off for the bronze medal for the losing semi-finalist.

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