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World Cup Rugby

World Cup Rugby Tickets

The Rugby World Cup is the premier international rugby union competition which is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB), and is contested by the men's national teams. The inaugural tournament that held in 1987 was hosted by both Australia and New Zealand, and is now contested every four years.

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World Cup Rugby Tickets Information

The tournament is one of the largest international sporting competitions in the world, with England as the current world champion having won the 2003 tournament in Australia. The Webb Ellis Cup is presented to winners of the Rugby World Cup, named after William Webb Ellis, who is credited with creating the game of rugby football. The trophy is also referred as the Rugby World Cup. It was chosen in 1987 as an appropriate cup for the competition. The words 'International Rugby Board' and 'The Webb Ellis Cup' are engraved on the face of the cup. It stands at 38 centimeters and is silver gilded in gold, and supported by two cast scroll handles, one handle has a head of a satyr, and the other has a head of a nymph. The colloquial name of the trophy in Australia is "Bill" with a reference to William Webb Ellis.
Prior to the Rugby World Cup, there had been various competitions similar in nature. One of the largest and oldest international rugby union competitions is the Home Nations, first played in 1883 through to 1909 between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It became the Five Nations in 1910 when France joined, although they did not participate from 1931 to 1939. Rugby union was also played at the Summer Olympics, first appearing at the 1900 Paris games and subsequently at London in 1908, Antwerp in 1920, and Paris again in 1924. France won the first gold medal, then Australasia, with the last two being won by the United States. However Rugby Union was soon removed from the Summer Olympic program.
Qualifying tournaments introduced for the second tournament with eight of the 16 places contested in a 24 nation tournament. 1987 World Cup did not involve any qualifying process instead; the 16 places were automatically filled by seven eligible International Rugby Football Board member nations and the remaining by the invitation. The current format allows eight of the 20 available positions to be filled by automatic qualifications, as the eight quarter finalists of the previous tournament enter its successor. The remaining 12 positions are filled by continental qualifying tournaments. Positions are filled by three teams from the Americas, one from Asia, one from Africa, three from Europe and two from Oceania.
The opening game of the 2003 competition were organised at Argentina and Australia at Telstra Stadium in Sydney. The current model features 20 nations competing over a month in the host nations. With two stages, a group and a knock-out, the nations are divided into four pools, A to D, of five nations each. The pool allocation system seeds teams ranked one through to four from the previous tournament into A through D pools respectively. The other four automatic entrants, the losing quarter-finalists from the previous tournament, are drawn into pools at random.
The most overall points accumulated in the final stages are held by Scottish player Gavin Hastings with 227 from the 1987 to 1995. Grant Fox of New Zealand holds the record for most points in one competition, with 126 in 1987; Sean Fitzpatrick, also of New Zealand holds the record for most appearances with 17 from the 1987 to 1995. Simon Culhane holds the record for most points being 20 in a match by a player, as well as the record for most conversions in a match. Marc Ellis holds the record for most tries in a match, scoring six. New Zealander Jonah Lomu holds the records for overall 15 tries in final stages in 1995 to 99 tournaments and as much as eight tries in one competition, in 1999. The record for most penalties in a match is 8, held by Matt Burke, Gonzalo Quesada, Gavin Hastings and Thierry Lacroix, and the record for most penalties in a tournament is held by Gonzalo Quesada (31). Most drop goals in a match are held by South Africa's Jannie de Beer. The most points scored in a game is 145, by the All Blacks against Japan in 1995, with the widest margin being 142, held by Australia in a match against Namibia in 2003. The 2007 Rugby World Cup is currently in progress and is being hosted in France during September and October, 2007.

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