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World Cup 2019

Dates: 20-Sep-2019 to 2-Nov-2019


The Rugby World Cup is a men’s rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

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About the World Cup

The Rugby World Cup is the premier competition for men’s absolute rugby teams in the World Rugby. There are also other competitions that are also rugby world cups: the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the Rugby World Cup 7.

This sporting event has been held every four years since 1987, in two phases: a qualifying phase currently involving some 120 national teams, and a final phase, at a venue determined in advance, involving 20 teams over a period of approximately one and a half months. The tournament is the third largest international sporting competition in the world, after the World Cup and the summer Olympic Games.

The award is the Webb Ellis Cup for the name of rugby “inventor” William Webb Ellis. The current world champions are the All Blacks, who won the tournament held between September 18 and October 30, 2015 in England. The ninth edition of the tournament will be held from September 20 to November 2, 2019 in Japan.


The Rugby World Cup is the third sporting event in the world after the Summer Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. Accumulated spectators at the Rugby World Cup.

These data are a clear indicator of the growing popularity of the tournament since its inception in 1987 until the last edition held in France in 2007, a fact that will be confirmed in 2011 due to the strong demand for tickets for events during the first days of sale to the public.

Television coverage

The final of the 2003 tournament was broadcast in 205 countries. The number of cumulative spectators increases from one edition to another, with a spectacular growth between the first four editions, from 300 million in 1987 to 2.67 billion in 1995. The growth rate declined until the 2003 tournament, when the number of spectators reached 3.4 billion.

Presence in stadiums

The 2003 edition attracted a total of 1,837,547 spectators in the 48 matches played, and in the 2007 edition, the stadium occupancy rate was over 95%. The growth since 1987 is less marked than that of the number of viewers, a fact mainly related to the increase in the number of matches played. The average affluence to the stadiums during the World Cup is one of the most important registered for an international sports competition. In 2003, the average number of spectators in the stadiums was 38,282.12 times higher than in the 1991 and 1995 editions when the average attendance was 31,250 and lower than the average attendance in the 1999 edition when 42,683 people came, on average, to watch each match. The first edition was the one with the lowest average attendance, with only 18,750 spectators per match.

The highest number of spectators who witnessed a World Cup final was 82,957, during the match between Australia and England played at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney (Australia).


A study commissioned by the Australian government showed that 65,000 people visited the country during the 2003 Rugby World Cup. While in the 2007 edition, the tourism benefit in France generated hotel revenues of between 100 and 150 million euros, and in the 2011 tournament, revenues of 280 million NZ$ from ticket sales alone and around 700 million NZ$ in tourism-related profits are expected with 100,000 tourists expected to arrive in the country.


The budget and profits generated by the Rugby World Cup have been increasing with each edition, as shown in the table on the right. The values are expressed in pounds sterling; in the 2003 edition, the commercial budget amounted to 81.8 million pounds, which represents some 118 million euros.

The 1999 edition was marked in the economic aspect by the construction, replacing the national stadium Cardiff Arms Park, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, with a capacity for 74,500 spectators and a cost of 126 million pounds20 (about 190 million euros). Funding came from private investment, public funds (46 million free), loans and the sale of match tickets.21 The construction of the stadium generated 1,200 jobs over two years and the operation of the sports complex has created 1,600 permanent jobs in the region.

The popularity of the tournament has steadily increased since its inception in 1987 and consequently, its influence on the economy of the host country. In the 2003 edition, held in Australia, the International Rugby Board generated a profit of $97.4 million: television broadcasting rights amounted to $56.5 million and marketing rights to $40.9 million. The Australian rugby federation recorded a net profit of 22 million euros. The organisers have generated a profit of 150 million dollars. According to a study by the Australian government, the Rugby World Cup has generated 494 million dollars in sales in Australia out of an added value of 251 million.15 4,476 full-time or part-time jobs were created.

For the 2007 World Cup organised in France, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) predicted the sale of two and a half million tickets for the events, which would generate revenues of 180 million euros, 70 million in television rights and marketing for the Rugby World Cup Ldt. and 5.5 million profit for the French federation.

The budget for future editions is determined by the growing popularity of the event. The New Zealand government anticipates that the organisation of the 2011 edition will generate a profit of 408 million New Zealand dollars (around 200 million euros) for the country’s economy and 90 million in taxes (around 45 million euros).

Political aspect

The celebration of the Rugby World Cup has also had an influence on non-sporting terrain within the host country, for example, at the sociological and political level. The 1995 edition was the first major international event organised by South Africa after apartheid. It was held just one year after the first elections held under the universal suffrage of all the country’s inhabitants regardless of their ethnic origin, which resulted in the election of Nelson Mandela as president. It is fully recognised that the successful organisation of the World Cup in South Africa contributed to the process of national reconciliation initiated by President Mandela’s administration.

Celebration in Trafalgar Square on the occasion of the victory of the England rugby team at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the first for a team from the northern hemisphere.

Until this event was held in South Africa, rugby was associated with the repression of apartheid and rugby was played by white people. From then on, rugby began to spread to the black population, from which came prominent players such as Bryan Habana, JP Pitersen or national coach Peter de Villiers.

Impact on the world of rugby

The celebration of the Rugby World Cup has allowed the diffusion and popularization of rugby in the world, along with the economic benefits that the organization of the tournament brings to the organizing federations. The tournament has increased clashes between the best teams in the northern and southern hemispheres; during the twenty seasons leading up to the first edition, Australia and New Zealand played a total of 44 matches against England, while over the next twenty years they played 75 matches. The tournament has also given rise to the possibility that teams in the second tier of international rugby can play matches against stronger teams during preparation matches or during the tournament itself: for example, between 1967 and 1986, Italy’s team faced England, France, New Zealand and Australia four times. This figure has risen to 37 matches between 1987 and 2006. In the case of Argentina, the number of matches played against these teams increased from 20 to 51. This has undoubtedly contributed to improving the level of rugby in countries with less tradition in the sport.

In terms of sporting infrastructure, the fact of organizing the Rugby World Cup allows a country the opportunity to build new stadiums and improve existing ones. For example, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff was built for the 1999 World Cup and, with a capacity of 74,500 spectators, has become one of the largest in the United Kingdom.


Exterior of the Stade de France during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The Rugby World Cup has been held every four years since 1987. The Rugby World Cup Limited (RWC Ltd.) is the entity responsible for overseeing the organisation of all aspects of the tournament: sporting, regulatory, commercial and financial. The entity is headed by five directors appointed by the board of the International Rugby Board.

The choice of the venue for the World Cup is made at least four years prior to the tournament,36 by secret ballot of the members of the IRB Council.

Since its creation, all editions have been held in countries with a great rugby tradition: New Zealand and Australia (1987), England (1991 and 2015), South Africa (1995), Wales (1999), Australia (2003), France (2007) and New Zealand (2011), England (2015). By contrast, in 2019 the tournament will be held for the first time in an Asian country, Japan, with some historical development in the world of rugby, but with a frank level of progression.

The winner of the Rugby World Cup is awarded the Webb Ellis Cup or Rugby World Cup. It bears the name of William Webb Ellis, who according to legend is considered the creator of modern rugby. Colloquially it is called Bill in reference to William Webb Ellis. The trophy is 38 centimetres high and is made of gold-plated silver. On one of its handles is the head of a satyr while on the other is the head of a nymph. On the front of the trophy are the words International Rugby Board followed by the inscription The Webb Ellis Cup.


For the 1991 edition the International Rugby Board commissioned the composition of a theme song for the competition. The lyrics were written by Charlie Skarbek and the music is the main theme of the central section of “Jupiter, the bearer of Joy”, a movement from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

Since 1991, “World in Union” has been performed, by different vocalists, at each of the tournament’s opening ceremonies and multiple versions interpreted by various artists have been recorded and even used for the soundtrack of the film Invictus, in this case, interpreted by Overtone with Yollandi Nortjie.