A Guide To The Rugby World Cup

The rugby world cup is an amazing spectacle , but how does it work and what should we be aware of?

England clinched the 2003 Rugby World Cup when a drop goal from flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson in the last minute of extra time sealed a 20-17 final victory over Australia at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney.

England coach Clive Woodward was jubilant following his side's historic triumph while Australia coach Eddie Jones praised his team's fighting spirit.

Clive Woodward's side become the first northern hemisphere side to claim the game's ultimate prize in what was arguably the greatest finale to the best ever World Cup.

In the end, after 100 minutes of bruising and breath-taking rugby it was Jonny Wilkinson, England's No.10, that once again proved the key, slotting the close range effort to snuff out a brave defence of their World Cup crown by Australia. But the question still remains, when will a winning team manage to defend their crown successfully? And when will a Northern Hemisphere team again win the biggest prize in Rugby Union?

Previous finalists:

  • 1987 New Zealand v France 29-9
     
  • 1991 Australia v England 12-6
     
  • 1995 South Africa v New Zealand 15-12
     
  • 1999 Australia v France 35-12
     

Scotland's Gavin Hastings remains the tournament's leading points scorer with 227 points scored in his 13 matches while New Zealand's Jonah Lomu is the record try scorer with 15 in 11 games.

The next World Cup takes place in 2007 with most fixtures, including the final, taking place in France.

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