2003 Rugby World Cup

The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Originally planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Union and Rugby World Cup Limited. The pre-event favourites were England, regarded by many at the time as the best team in the world. New Zealand, France, South Africa and defending champions Australia were also expected to make strong showings, with New Zealand being second favourites after victory in the southern-hemisphere Tri-Nations championship.

2003 Rugby World Cup
Tournament details
Host nation Australia
Dates10 October – 22 November (44 days)
No. of nations20 (80 qualifying)
Final positions
Champions  England
Runner-up  Australia
Third place  New Zealand
Tournament statistics
Matches played48
Attendance1,837,547 (38,282 per match)
Top scorer(s) Jonny Wilkinson (113)
Most tries Doug Howlett
Mils Muliaina
(7 tries each)
1999
2007
England 2003 World Cup winners

The tournament began with host nation Australia defeating Argentina 24–8 at Stadium Australia in Sydney. Australia went on to defeat New Zealand 22–10 in the semi-final, to play England in the final. Along with a try to Jason Robinson, Jonny Wilkinson kicked four penalties and then a drop-goal in extra time to win the game 20–17 for England, who became the first northern hemisphere team to win the Webb Ellis Cup.


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