Rugby World Cup Facts:

Rugby World Cup Facts:

• South Africa and New Zealand have each won the Rugby World Cup on three occasions, more than any other nation, with Australia (2) and England (1) the only other nations to lift the Webb Ellis Cup; the Springboks are the only side to boast a 100% winning record in Rugby World Cup finals (3/3) and have never conceded a try in a final.

• Only on two occasions has a nation won the Six Nations or The Rugby Championship (incl. Tri Nations) and gone on to lift the Rugby World Cup in the same year, with England doing so in 2003 and South Africa managing it in 2019.

• A host nation has won the Rugby World Cup on three previous occasions, New Zealand triumphing in 1987 and 2011, while South Africa won the tournament on home soil in 1995 – only twice before has a host nation failed to reach the quarter finals (Wales in 1991 & England in 2015).

• Chile will participate in their first Rugby World Cup, becoming the 26th different nation to feature in the tournament, while they will be the first debutant at a World Cup since Russia in 2011; meanwhile Portugal will participate in just their second Rugby World Cup and their first since 2007, which was also hosted by France.

• Wayne Barnes is set to become the first referee to officiate in five editions of the Rugby World Cup – he has taken charge of 21 tournament matches, with Nigel Owens being the only other referee to oversee 15+ matches in the competition (19).

• Jason Leonard (England) and Richie McCaw (New Zealand) have each featured in 22 Rugby World Cup matches, more than any other player, however, New Zealand’s Sam Whitelock heads into the 2023 edition with 19 previous appearances and could break the record.

• Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) and Bryan Habana (South Africa) hold the record for most tries scored at the Rugby World Cup (15) and jointly hold the record for most tries in a single edition of the tournament, along with Julian Savea (8 – Lomu 1999, Habana 2007, Savea 2015).

• France v New Zealand, Australia v England and Australia v Wales are the three most played fixtures in the history of the Rugby World Cup (7 each) – France and New Zealand will face each other in the opening match this year, while Australia and Wales will square off once again in Lyon on September 24th .

• South Africa’s Handré Pollard was the top points scorer in the 2019 Rugby World Cup (69) and has scored more World Cup points overall than any other player participating in this year’s tournament (162), with Nicolas Sanchez (117) and Owen Farrell (101) being the only two other active players with 100+ Rugby World Cup points.

• Sam Whitelock (New Zealand) holds the record for most consecutive matches won by a player at the Rugby World Cup, having won 18 in a row between 2011 and 2019, while Frans Steyn (South Africa) has played in the most tournament matches without losing (17/17).

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