RWC 2023: The Last Five Rugby World Cup Winners
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Champions of the world.
The 2023 Six Nations got underway on February 4th weekend, and to say the competition got underway with a bang would be an understatement. Scotland beat England for an unprecedented third consecutive year, picking up a 29-23 victory at Twickenham to ensure that the Calcutta Cup remains north of the border for another year. Tournament favorites France scraped past Italy in Rome, while Ireland hammered Wales in Cardiff.
The tournament looks wide open this year and will provide a great indicator as to who the front runners may well be when the 2023 Rugby World Cup gets underway in the Autumn. The tournament will be hosted in France once again, and it is South Africa who enters the competition as the reigning champions.
Online sports betting site Bovada makes the French the favorites for glory on home turf, however. In Antoine Dupont, they have perhaps the finest player on the planet in their ranks, and his nation will be hoping that he can lead them to a maiden Web Ellis Trophy at the Stade De France on October 28th.
The Rugby World Cup is one of the most hotly contested and exciting sporting events in the world. The tournament is held every four years and pits the world’s top rugby-playing nations against each other in an effort to be crowned the champions. Since the first Rugby World Cup was held in 1987, there have only been four winners of the famed competition, and only one from the Northern Hemisphere.
2019 – Hosts: Japan – Winners: South Africa
New Zealand, as they tend to do most years, entered the 2019 Rugby World Cup as the tournament favourites. They had won the last two tournaments on the spin and were hoping to make it a historic threepeat in the far-east four years ago. They were stunned however by Eddie Jones’ England in the semifinal.
Spurred on by the brilliance of captain Owen Farrell, the English ran out 19-7 winners in Yokohama, setting up a repeat of the 2007 final against South Africa. That year, however, the Springboks were a different beast. The final was tight for long periods, however, in the second period, the South Africans ran away with it, winning 32-12 and picking up their third Web Ellis Trophy.
2015 – Hosts: England – Winners: New Zealand
The 2015 Rugby World Cup was held in England and was won by New Zealand, who won their third World Cup title and their second in a row, becoming the first nation to successfully retain the trophy. The All Blacks were led by their captain Richie McCaw and a supporting cast of world-class players such as Dan Carter and Ma’a Nonu. They defeated Australia in the final, 34-17.
The 2015 edition of the tournament was also a notable one as it saw England have their worst performance in a generation. Despite hosting the competition, the English fell in the group stages after losing to both Wales and Australia, and it’s a tournament that they will want to forget in a hurry.
2011 – Hosts: New Zealand – Winners: New Zealand
The Rugby World Cup 12 years ago was held in New Zealand and was won by the home nation, who secured their second World Cup title. The All Blacks were once again led by the great McCaw, Carter, Nonu and Conrad Smith. The hosts defeated France 8-7 in one of the tightest finals in the history of the tournament.
The French deserve plenty of respect for their performance in the final. They were battered 37-17 by the All Blacks in the group stages but managed to fight their way past England and Wales to reach their third-ever final. As was the case in their previous two trips to the showpiece game, however, it would end in defeat.
2007 – Hosts: France – Winners: South Africa
The 2007 Rugby World Cup was held in France and was won by South Africa, who won their second World Cup title. South Africa were led by their captain John Smit and featured stars such as Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez and Jaque Fourie. South Africa defeated England 15-6 in a controversial final which saw a try from English winger Mark Cueto contentiously ruled out.
England had a shocking beginning to the tournament. They narrowly scraped past the lowly USA in their opening group game, before being battered by the Springboks in their second, losing 36-0 in a devastating beating. But the return of Jonny Wilkinson saw the English power past Australia and France in the knockout stages, setting them up for a second consecutive final.
2003 – Hosts: Australia – Winners: England
The 2003 Rugby World Cup was held in Australia and was won by England, who won their first World Cup title. England were led by their captain Martin Johnson and featured stars such as Jonny Wilkinson, Josh Lewsey and Jason Robinson. England defeated Australia 20-17 in the final. This final was in an incredible affair that went down to the wire.
The match finished 14-14 and went into extra time, where further penalties were scored for both teams. With the score at 17 apiece and just seconds remaining on the clock, English fly-half Jonny Wilkinson fired over a drop goal to win the World Cup for England and consign the hosts to a heartbreaking defeat on home turf.