Rugby World Cup finals

The Rugby World Cup has thrown up some significant moments in the final of the event, which is held every four years. The RWC final is probably the biggest game on the rugby calendar, with it throwing up some absolute classics over the years. First played in 1987, the Rugby World Cup final is the showpiece of the tournament, after 20 teams slug it out for the right to play in it. The winner of the Rugby World Cup final is crown the World Champion of Rugby and holds the bragging rights for the next four years. This article will run you through each of the eight World Cup finals results, try scorers, venues, crowd figures, leading points scorers and how the teams reached the final.


1987 Rugby World Cup final: New Zealand 29 d France 9

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland, June 20

Crowd: 46,000

Scorers: New Zealand 29 (Michael Jones, David Kirk, John Kirwan tries; Grant Fox conversion, 4 penalties, 1 drop goal) d France 9 (Pierre Berbizier try; Didier Camberabero conv, pen).

Referee: Kerry Fitzgerald (Australia)

Run to the final:

New Zealand 70 d Italy 6; NZ 74 d Fiji 13; NZ 46 d Argentina 15; quarter-final NZ 30 d Scotland 3; semi-final NZ 49 d Wales 6.

France 20 drew with Scotland 20; France 55 d Romania 12; France 70 d Zimbabwe 12; quarter-final France 31 d Fiji 16; semi-final France 30 d Australia 24.

Top tournament points-scorer: Grant Fox (NZ) 126
Top try-scorer: Craig Green (NZ), John Kirwan (NZ) 6


1991 Rugby World Cup final: Australia 12 d England 6

Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London, November 2

Crowd: 56,000

Scorers: Australia 12 (Tony Daly try; Michael Lynagh conv, 2 pen) d Engand 6 (Jonathan Webb 2 pen).

Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)

Run to the final:

Australia 32 d Argentina 19; Australia 9 d Western Samoa 3; Australia 38 d Wales 3; quarter-final Australia 19 d Ireland 18; semi-final Australia 16 d New Zealand 6.

England 12 lost New Zealand 18; England 36 d Italy 6; England 37 d USA 9; quarter-final England 19 d France 10; semi-final England 9 d Scotland 6.

Top tournament points-scorer: Ralph Keyes (Ireland)
Top tournament try-scorer: David Campese (Australia), Jean-Baptiste Lafond (France) 6.


1995 Rugby World Cup final: South Africa 15 d New Zealand 12

Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg, June 24

Crowd: 62,000

Scorers: South Africa 15 (Joel Stransky 3 pen, 2 drop goals) d New Zealand 12 (Andrew Mehrtens 3 pen, 1 drop goal).

Referee: Ed Morrison (England)

Run to the final:

South Africa 27 d Australia 18; South Africa 21 d Romania 8; South Africa 20 d Canada 0; quarter-final South Africa 42 d Western Samoa 14; semi-final South Africa 19 d France 15.

New Zealand 43 d Ireland 19; New Zealand 34 d Wales 9; New Zealand 145 d Japan 17; quarter-final New Zealand 48 d Scotland 30; semi-final New Zealand 45 d England 29.

Top tournament points-scorer: Thierry Lacroix (France) 112

Top tournament try-scorer: Jonah Lomu (NZ), Marc Ellis (NZ) 7


1999 Rugby World Cup final: Australia 35 d France 12

Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, November 6

Crowd: 72,500

Scorers: Australia 35 (Owen Finegan, Ben Tune tries; Matt Burke 2 con; 7 pen) d France 12 (Christope Lamaison 4 pen).

Referee: Andre Watson (South Africa)

Run to the final:

Australia 57 d Romania 9; Australia 23 d Ireland 3; Australia 55 d USA 19; quarter-final Australia 24 d Wales 9; semi-final Australia 27 d South Africa 21.

France 33 d Canada 20; France 47 d Namibia 13; France 28 d Fiji 19; quarter-final France 47 d Argentina 26; semi-final France 43 d New Zealand 31.

Top tournament points-scorer: Gonzalo Quesada (Argentina) 102.

Top tournament try-scorer: Jonah Lomu (NZ) 8


2003 Rugby World Cup final: England 20 d Australia 17

Venue: Telstra Stadium, Sydney, November 22

Crowd: 82,957

Scorers: England 20 (Jason Robinson try; Jonny Wilkinson 4 pen, drop goal) d Australia 17 (Lote Tuqiri try; Elton Flatley 4 pen).

Referee: Andre Watson (South Africa)

Run to the final:

England 84 d Georgia 6; England 25 d South Africa 6; England 35 d Samoa 22; England 111 d Uruguay 13; quarter-final England 28 d Wales 17; semi-final England 24 d France 7.

Australia 24 d Argentina 8; Australia 90 d Romania 8; Australia 142 d Namibia 0; Australia 17 d Ireland 16; quarter-final Australia 33 d Scotland 16; semi-final Australia 22 d New Zealand 10.

Top tournament points-scorer: Jonny Wilkinson (England) 113
Top tournament try-scorer: Doug Howlett (NZ), Mils Muliaina (NZ) 7.


2007 Rugby World Cup final: South Africa 15 d England 6

Venue: Stade de France, Paris, October 20

Crowd: 80,430
Scorers: South Africa 15 (Percy Montgomery 4 pen, Francois Steyn pen) d England 6 (Jonny Wilkinson 2 pen).

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Run to the final:

South Africa 59 d Samoa 7; South Africa 36 d England 0; South Africa 30 d Tonga 25; South Africa 64 d USA 15; quarter-final South Africa 37 d Fiji 20; semi-final South Africa 37 d Argentina 13.

England 28 d USA 10; England 0 lost to South Africa 36; England 44 d Samoa 22; England 36 d Tonga 20; quarter-final England 12 d Australia 10; semi-final England 14 d France 9.

Top tournament points-scorer: Percy Montgomery (South Africa) 105
Top tournament try-scorer: Bryan Habana (South Africa) 8


2011 Rugby World Cup final: New Zealand 8 d France 7

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland, October 23

Crowd: 61,079

Scorers: New Zealand 8 (Tony Woodcock try; Stephen Donald pen) d France 7 (Thierry Dusautoir try; Francois Trinh-Duc con).

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Run to the final:

New Zealand 41 d Tonga 10; New Zealand 83 d Japan 7; New Zealand 37 d France 17; New Zealand 79 d Canada 15; quarter-final New Zealand 33 d Argentina 10; semi-final New Zealand 20 d Australia 6.

France 47 d Japan 21; France 46 d Canada 19; France 17 lost to New Zealand 37; France 14 lost to Tonga 19; quarter-final France 19 d England 12; semi-final France 9 d Wales 8.

Top tournament points-scorer: Morne Steyn (South Africa) 62

Top tournament try-scorer: Chris Ashton (England), Vincent Clerc (France) 6.


2015 Rugby World Cup final: New Zealand 34 d Australia 17

Venue: Twickenham, London, October 31

Crowd: 80,125

Scorers: New Zealand 34 (Nehe Milner-Skudder, Ma’a Nonu, Beauden Barrett tries; Daniel Carter 2 conv, 4 pen, 1 drop goal) d Australia 17 (David Pocock, Tevita Kuridrani tries; Bernard Foley 2 conv, 1 pen).

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Run to the final:

New Zealand 26 d Argentina 16; New Zealand 58 d Namibia 14; New Zealand 43 d Georgia 10; New Zealand 47 d Tonga 9; quarter-final New Zealand 62 d France 13; semi-final New Zealand 20 d South Africa 18.

Australia 28 d Fiji 13; Australia 65 d Uruguay 3; Australia 33 d England 13; Australia 15 d Wales 6; quarter-final Australia 35 d Scotland 34; semi-final Australia 29 d Argentina 15.

Top tournament points-scorer: Nicolas Sanchez (Argentina) 97.

Top tournament try-scorer: Julian Savea (New Zealand) 8.


2019 Rugby World Cup Final: South Africa 32 d England 12

Venue: International Stadium Yokohama

Crowd: 70,103

Scorers: South Africa 32 (Cheslin Kolbe, Makazole Mapimpi tries; Handre Pollard 2 cons, 6 pens) d England 12 (Owen Farrell 4 pens).

Referee: Jerome Garces

Run to the final:

New Zealand 23 d South Africa 13; South Africa 57 d Namibia 3; South Africa 49 d Italy 3; South Africa 66 d Canada 7; quarter-final: South Africa 26 d Japan 3; semi-final: South Africa 19 d Wales 16.

England 35 d Tonga 3; England 45 d USA 7; England 39 d Argentina 10; quarter-final: England 40 d Australia 16; semi-final: England 19 d New Zealand 7.

Top tournament points-scorer: Handre Pollard (South Africa) 69.

Top tournament try-scorer: Josh Adams (Wales) 7.


The 2023 Rugby World Cup final is due to be played on October 21 at Stade de France in Paris. Just under four years out from the beginning of the tournament, New Zealand were posted as $2.50 favourites in betting to win the event. If you want to learn more read our betting guide for the Rugby World Cup, or learn about rugby union betting.


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