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Rugby World Cup 2023

(Juan Jose Gasparini/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

After the success of its inaugural tournament back in 1987, the Rugby World Cup is now considered one of the most important sporting tournaments in the world. Held every four years, the Rugby World Cup is contested by 20 nations who are put in four groups of five teams each.

The Springboks are the reigning world champions, having won the 2019 edition of the tournament in Japan. The draw for the 2023 World Cup was made on December 14, 2020, although eight of the 20 teams to compete in France are still yet to qualify.

The seedings for the draw were decided by the World Rugby rankings as of January 1, 2020, leading to some quirks in the eventual pools. Australia for the third tournament in a row were drawn alongside Fiji and Wales, the latter of whom were ranked ninth at the time of the draw but were considered one of the top seeds having been ranked fourth earlier in the year.

New Zealand were drawn against hosts France in Pool A in what will make for a tantalising match-up – both sides will be firmly amongst the favourites come 2023. Italy is the other seeded side in that group.

Reigning champions South Africa will have to contend with Scotland and Ireland in Pool B, while England face a potentially tricky group with Japan and Argentina their seeded opponents.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
New Zealand South Africa Wales England
France Ireland Australia Japan
Italy Scotland Fiji Argentina
Americas 1 Asia/Pacific 1 Europe 1 Oceania 1
Africa 1 Europe 2 Final qualifier winner Americas 2


In the Rugby World Cup, each team plays the other countries in their pool once. The top two teams progress to the quarter-finals and the others are eliminated – although teams who finish third in their group are at least granted automatic qualification to the next World Cup.

The winner of the tournament is awarded the Webb Ellis trophy. South Africa’s victory saw them tie with New Zealand as the most successful World Cup nation with three tournament wins each, the Boks having never lost a World Cup Final. Australia has one twice, and England once.

The full list of venues from the 2023 World Cup is as follows:

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  • Stade de France, Paris
  • Stade Velodrome, Marseille
  • Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon
  • Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
  • Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux
  • Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
  • Allianz Riviera, Nice
  • Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
  • Stadium Municipal, Toulouse

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