1987 Rugby World Cup

1987 Rugby World Cup
RWC1987logo.svg
Tournament details
Host nations  New Zealand
 Australia
Dates 22 May – 20 June (30 days)
No. of nations 16
Final positions
Champions Gold medal blank.svg  New Zealand
Runner-up Silver medal blank.svg  France
Third place Bronze medal blank.svg  Wales
Tournament statistics
Matches played 32
Attendance 478,449 (14,952 per match)
Top scorer(s) New Zealand Grant Fox (126)
Most tries New Zealand Craig Green
New Zealand John Kirwan
(6 tries each)
1991

The 1987 Rugby World Cup was the first Rugby World Cup. New Zealand and Australia agreed to co-host the tournament. New Zealand hosted 21 matches (17 pool stage matches, two quarter-finals, the third-place play-off and the final) while Australia hosted 11 matches (seven pool matches, two quarter-finals and both semi-finals). The event was won by co-hosts New Zealand, who were the strong favourites and won all their matches comfortably. France were losing finalists and Wales came in third: Australia, having been second favourites, finished fourth after conceding crucial tries in the dying seconds of both the semi-final against France and the third-place play-off against Wales.

Sixteen teams competed in the inaugural tournament. Seven of the 16 places were automatically filled by the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB) members – New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France. South Africa was unable to compete because of the international sporting boycott due to apartheid. There was no qualification process to fill the remaining nine spots. Instead invitations were sent out to Argentina, Fiji, Italy, Canada, Romania, Tonga, Japan, Zimbabwe and the United States. This left Western Samoa controversially excluded, despite their better playing standard than some of the teams invited. The USSR were to be invited but they declined the invitation on political grounds, allegedly due to the continued IRFB membership of South Africa.[1]

The tournament witnessed a number of one-sided matches, with the seven traditional IRFB members proving too strong for the other teams. Half of the 24 matches across the four pools saw one team score 40 or more points. New Zealand defeated France 29–9 in the final at Eden Park in Auckland. The New Zealand team was captained by David Kirk and included such rugby greats as Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, Grant Fox and Michael Jones. The tournament was seen as a major success and proved that the event was viable in the long term. It also led to many countries joining the International Rugby Football Board which in turn led the IRFB to become the true authority for the running of international rugby union.[citation needed]

Participating nations

There was no qualification for the inaugural World Cup so the tournament comprised the seven members of the IRFB, with the remaining nine places filled by teams invited by the IRFB.

IRFB Member Nations Invited Nations

Venues

New Zealand Auckland New Zealand Wellington New Zealand Christchurch New Zealand Dunedin
Eden Park Athletic Park Lancaster Park Carisbrook
Capacity: 48,000 Capacity: 39,000 Capacity: 36,500 Capacity: 35,000
Eden Park cropped.jpg AthleticParkWellington1971.jpg Lancaster Park aerial July 2011.jpg Carisbrook.jpg
New Zealand Rotorua New Zealand Napier New Zealand Hamilton Australia Brisbane
Rotorua International Stadium McLean Park Rugby Park Ballymore Stadium
Capacity: 35,000 Capacity: 30,000 Capacity: 30,000 Capacity: 24,000
McLean Park, Napier.jpg
Australia Sydney New Zealand Invercargill New Zealand Palmerston North
Concord Oval Rugby Park Stadium Showgrounds Oval
Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 30,000 Capacity: 20,000
Concord Oval eastern grandstand.JPG Rugby Park Invercargill.jpg Fmgstadium.JPG

Squads

Referees

  • Australia Kerry Fitzgerald
  • Australia Bob Fordham
  • England Fred Howard
  • England Roger Quittenton
  • France René Hourquet
  • France Guy Maurette
  • Ireland David Burnett

Pools and format

Pool 1 Pool 2 Pool 3 Pool 4

 Australia
 England
 Japan
 United States

 Canada
 Ireland
 Tonga
 Wales

 Argentina
 Fiji
 Italy
 New Zealand

 France
 Romania
 Scotland
 Zimbabwe

  • Pool 1 was played in Australia
  • Pool 2 was played with five matches held in New Zealand and one in Australia
  • Pool 3 was played in New Zealand
  • Pool 4 was played in New Zealand

The inaugural World Cup was contested by 16 nations. There was no qualifying tournament to determine the participants; instead, the 16 nations were invited by the International Rugby Football Board to compete. The simple 16-team pool/knock-out format was used with the teams divided into four pools of four, with each team playing the others in their pool once, for a total of three matches per team in the pool stage. Nations were awarded two points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss: teams finishing level on points were separated by tries scored, rather than total points difference (had it been otherwise, Argentina would have taken second place in Group C ahead of Fiji, although France would still have won Group D.) The top two nations of every pool advanced to the quarter-finals. The runners-up of each pool faced the winners of a different pool in the quarter-finals. A standard single-elimination tournament followed, with the losers of the semi-finals contesting an additional play-off match to determine third place.

A total of 32 matches (24 in the pool stage and eight in the knock-out stage) were played in the tournament over 29 days from 22 May to 20 June 1987.

Pool stage

Pool 1

Team P W D L PF PA tries Pts
 Australia 3 3 0 0 108 41 18 6
 England 3 2 0 1 100 32 15 4
 United States 3 1 0 2 39 99 5 2
 Japan 3 0 0 3 48 123 7 0

Pool 2

Team P W D L PF PA Tries Pts
 Wales 3 3 0 0 82 31 13 6
 Ireland 3 2 0 1 84 41 11 4
 Canada 3 1 0 2 65 90 7 2
 Tonga 3 0 0 3 29 98 3 0

Pool 3

Team P W D L PF PA tries Pts
 New Zealand 3 3 0 0 190 34 30 6
 Fiji 3 1 0 2 56 101 6 2
 Italy 3 1 0 2 40 110 5 2
 Argentina 3 1 0 2 49 90 4 2

Pool 4

Team P W D L PF PA tries Pts
 France 3 2 1 0 145 44 25 5
 Scotland 3 2 1 0 135 69 22 5
 Romania 3 1 0 2 61 130 5 2
 Zimbabwe 3 0 0 3 53 151 5 0

Knockout stage

 
Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 
                   
 
6 June – Lancaster Park, Christchurch
 
 
 New Zealand 30
 
14 June – Ballymore, Brisbane
 
 Scotland 3
 
 New Zealand 49
 
8 June – Ballymore, Brisbane
 
 Wales 6
 
 Wales 16
 
20 June – Eden Park, Auckland
 
 England 3
 
 New Zealand 29
 
7 June – Eden Park, Auckland
 
 France 9
 
 France 31
 
13 June – Concord Oval, Sydney
 
 Fiji 16
 
 France 30
 
7 June – Concord Oval, Sydney
 
 Australia 24 Third place
 
 Australia 33
 
18 June – Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
 
 Ireland 15
 
 Wales 22
 
 
 Australia 21
 

Quarter-finals

Semi-finals

Third-place play-off

Final

Statistics

The tournament's top point scorer was New Zealand's Grant Fox, who scored 126 points. Craig Green and John Kirwan scored the most tries, six in total.

Top 10 point scorers
Player Team Position Played Tries Conv­ersions Penal­ties Drop goals Total points
Grant Fox  New Zealand First five-eighth 6 0 30 21 1 126
Michael Lynagh  Australia Fly-half 6 0 20 12 2 82
Gavin Hastings  Scotland Fullback 4 3 16 6 0 62
Didier Camberabero  France Fly-half 5 4 14 3 0 53
Jonathan Webb  England Fullback 4 0 11 7 0 43
Guy Laporte  France Fly-half 3 2 11 3 1 42
Paul Thorburn  Wales Fullback 6 0 11 5 0 37
Mike Kiernan  Ireland Centre 3 1 7 5 1 36
Severo Koroduadua  Fiji Fullback 4 0 4 9 0 35
Hugo Porta  Argentina Fly-half 3 0 3 9 0 33

Broadcasters

The event was broadcast in Australia by ABC and in the United Kingdom by the BBC.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ Fedorets, Alexander. "Russians target 2011 World Cup". The M&G Online.

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