Rugby fans have been spoiled during the World Cup this year. We can’t quite believe that the quarter finals are kicking off this weekend. That’s when things will really get serious down Japan way… To mark the occasion, we’re going to round up some of our favourite Rugby World Cup trivia facts.
That means that next time you’re watching a match with your mates or discussing the action down the pub, you can impress with some Rugby World Cup trivia that no one else knows.
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You might think this is a tradition that stretches back hundreds of years. But in fact, it doesn’t. The first Rugby World Cup was held in 1987, despite the fact that there was a push for this to happen from the 1950s. So it was truly a hotly anticipated event. New Zealand and Australia hosted 16 teams in the initial competition. New Zealand went on to score top place, while co-host Australia lagged behind a little with a 4th-place victory.
Meanwhile one of the oldest tournaments in rugby’s history is the Six Nations Championship, originally called the Home Nations Championship, which dates right the way back to 1883.
The top trophy in the Rugby World Cup is called the Webb Ellis Cup. Legend has it that William Webb Ellis, who attended the Rugby School in England, invented the game in 1823. Apparently he did so by simply picking up the ball and running with it during a football match.
We’re not quite sure how that would go down with FIFA these days… However, many people discount that story as pure myth. But it’s a good Rugby World Cup trivia all the same!
Speaking of the Webb Ellis Cup… There are actually two Webb Ellis Cups that are used alternately. One was made in 1906 in London, based on a 1740s design, while the other is a replica created in 1986, just one year before the World Cup began.
Over more than 30 years of the Rugby World Cup, only four countries have triumphed. New Zealand, who are the reigning champions, have taken the top title three times. Then Australia and South Africa have each come out on top twice, while England have secured the crown just once. Will we get to add a fifth team to the list for next year’s round of Rugby World Cup trivia?
In 1999 for the first time, 20 teams were allowed to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. That means this is the 20th anniversary of having 20 teams in the competition. Nice little bit of symmetry to this piece of Rugby World Cup trivia…
Women and men will get equal footing in all future Rugby World Cups. Now that doesn’t mean there will be mixed teams. It’s all in the name, you see. The next women’s Rugby World Cup, which is going to be in New Zealand in 2021 will simply be called the Rugby World Cup 2021.