Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Is The History Of The Rugby World Cup?

Rugby is a sport that is enjoyed all over the world, throughout the countries of the British Commonwealth in particular. It is a gruelling sport that involves 15 players on each side and is particularly fanatically supported in countries such as New Zealand and Wales where they see it as their main national sport. Due to the popularity of the sport, every four years there is a Rugby World Cup where all of the best teams in the world come to test themselves against each other in pursuit of the grandest prize of all. The first of these tournaments was held in Australia and New Zealand in 1987. The inaugural tournament was won by the dominant team New Zealand in a final against France where the margin of victory was 29 points to 9.

Four years later the Rugby world cup came to Europe and was hosted by Great Britain throughout different stadiums in England, Ireland, and also France across the pond. For this tournament, a qualifying tournament was used to decide the final lineup of the 32 teams that were to compete. Four years ago it had been an invite only tournament, but now some of the lesser-known countries had to go through qualifying periods in order to make sure they got into the tournament.

It was Australia who turned up as champions on this occasion, as the hosts England were defeated in the final by a very small margin of 12 to 6.

Four years later, the cup was first held in South Africa and this became the first time that every single match was to be played in a single country. It was also the first time that South Africa had played in the tournament, as the end of the boycott against them in world sports came about due to the end of apartheid.

South Africa were relatively un-fancied as a team to win the tournament, but they had some great sporting players in the team. However with a fantastic home crowd behind them, they rose up through the tournament and managed to get the final against the powerhouse of world rugby New Zealand. In a thrilling encounter they managed to overturn New Zealand by a small margin of just three points and became the champions of rugby the first time at their first attempt.

The World Cup came to Wales in 1999. Again the dominant teams in the world were the teams of the southern hemisphere, and the home nations were unfancied to put up too much of a fight when it came to the closing stages of the tournament. New Zealand particularly well fancied to come as winners as they always were at every tournament with the powerhouse Jona Lomu surging down the wing. However New Zealand were overturned in a huge upset by France who then went on to be defeated by a strong Australia in the final.

By 2003, the dominant team in world rugby had for the first time changed from being New Zealand and other teams from the southern hemisphere and the first time England were the team to beat at the tournament. With the great Johnny will concern at number 10 and his trusty left boot in order, England were favourites to overturn New Zealand if they were to meet them. However this was not necessary, as Australia turned up and managed to defeat New Zealand on home turf, meeting England in the final in the greatest ever be much played. True to form, they will concern provided the finishing touch to a magnificent effort by the England team.

Most recently, the World Cup has been played in 2007 and was hosted by France. South Africa became only the second team to win the trophy for a second time as they overturned the current champions and relatively unfancied England in the final. In 2011 the competition will be played in New Zealand. Were the best team in the world be able to complete a famous victory on this occasion?

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