The Rugby World Cup occurs every four years and is anticipated by everyone that is an enthusiast of the sport. The tournament engages all of the top international clubs and players and fans alike consider it to be one of the crowning events of rugby.
The inaugural event was in 1987 hosted by the southern hemisphere king and queen of the sport, Australia and New Zealand. The decision as to where the event will be hosted is made by secret vote within the IRB Council and it is decided years in advance. The intention is to move the World Cup to different area every time but the hosting country must be able to prove they have the necessary facilities to accommodate the event. If they don’t have one but can demonstrate that they can have one built by the time the tournament is planned. The next World Cup is in 2015 and will be hosted by England that has more than enough facilities to easily house it. In 2019, the event will be held for the first time in a country not among the Six Nations, Japan, so that will really open the event up to a new experience.
The club that manages to get the winning end of the tournament is awarded the William Webb Ellis Cup, named after the boy that allegedly was the creator of rugby, quite by accident. The story is that he wandered onto the pitch and picked the ball up with his hands during a football game and then ran with it. In a town called Rugby. Yep that’s the whole story. With only seven tournaments played to date and South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have all each won the event twice with the remaining win going to England.
In 2015, twenty teams are invited to compete through a group and a knockout round. The teams are amassed into groups from A to D with 5 teams in each pool chosen via the world rankings with top teams in each group. Four games are played within the pools and the two top teams move onto the knock out round.
In 2015, group A is considered to be the “group of death” because it is absolutely stacked with top rugby nations and teams, Australia, Wales and England. Two spots remain that are yet undetermined as they will be filled with qualifiers. The B group has the powerful South Africa prepared to take on the contenders Scotland, Samoa, and an American and Asian team. Group C completely favours New Zealand to be on top in this pool and the others are pretty much just fighting for 2nd – Tonga, Argentina, Georgia and on African team. The final D pool is considered the group below the “death group” with France, Ireland, Canada, Italy, and Romania battling it out.
In the last World Cup in 2011, the event was hosted in New Zealand and they also came out in top as the victors of the tournie, a sweet deal to be on home turf when you walk away with a top prize such as this one! The event drew about a million and half spectators in attendance but that is far from the top number. In France, in almost 2.3 million people turned up to cheer on their team at the 48 match event. With the next tournie returning to England, it is expected that attendance will break that record.