2019 Rugby World Cup Final

The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match played on 2 November 2019 at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan. It marked the culmination of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and was played between England and South Africa, a rematch of the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final.

2019 Rugby World Cup Final
Event2019 Rugby World Cup
Date2 November 2019
VenueInternational Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
Player of the matchDuane Vermeulen (South Africa)
RefereeJérôme Garcès (France)

The match saw South Africa claim their third Rugby World Cup title with a 32–12 victory, with tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe adding to six penalties and two conversions from Handré Pollard.[1] The official player of the match was South Africa's number eight, Duane Vermeulen.[2]

The match was the United Kingdom's most watched TV broadcast in 2019 with a peak audience of 12.8 million watching on ITV.[3]

Route to the final

England Round South Africa
Pool C Pool stage Pool B
Opponent Result Opponent Result
 Tonga 35–3 Match 1  New Zealand 13–23
 United States 45–7 Match 2  Namibia 57–3
 Argentina 39–10 Match 3  Italy 49–3
 France 0–01 Match 4  Canada 66–7
Pld W D L TF PF PA +/ BP Pts
 England 43101711920+99317
 France 431097951+28115
 Argentina 42021410691+15311
 Tonga 4103967105−3826
 United States 4004752156−10400
Final standing
Pld W D L TF PF PA +/ BP Pts
 New Zealand 43102215722+135216
 South Africa 43012718536+149315
 Italy 4211149878+20212
 Namibia 4013334175–14102
 Canada 4013214177–16302
Opponent Result Knockout stage Opponent Result
 Australia 40–16 Quarter-finals  Japan 26–3
 New Zealand 19–7 Semi-finals  Wales 19–16

England's final pool match with France was called off on safety grounds due to the impact caused by Typhoon Hagibis; according to tournament rules, the result was declared a 0–0 draw.[4]


The Webb Ellis Cup

England reached the final after topping their pool with bonus point wins against Tonga, the United States and Argentina. Their final group match against France was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis and was recorded as a scoreless draw.[5] In the quarter-finals, England played Australia at Oita Stadium, Ōita. England won 40–16 thanks to two tries from Jonny May and one each from Kyle Sinckler and Anthony Watson, all converted by Owen Farrell, who also added four penalties.[6] In the semi-final at Yokohama Stadium, England played the reigning champions New Zealand. England beat the All Blacks 19–7, breaking New Zealand's 18-match winning streak at World Cups, with a try from Manu Tuilagi converted by Farrell, and four penalties from George Ford.[7] This was England's fourth appearance in a World Cup final, having last been world champions in 2003.[8] They had also reached the final in 1991, when they lost to Australia,[9] and 2007, losing to South Africa.[10] Prior to the Final, England called up Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer as a late replacement for Willi Heinz who had suffered a hamstring injury during the semi-final against New Zealand.[11] England named an unchanged starting team for the final.[12]

South Africa

South Africa's World Cup campaign began with a loss to New Zealand in their opening match in the pool, but they followed it up with bonus-point wins over Namibia, Canada and Italy to progress in second place in Pool B.[13][14] In the quarter-finals, they played the hosts Japan, winning 26–3 through two tries from Makazole Mapimpi and one from Faf de Klerk, with one conversion and three penalties from Handré Pollard.[15] In the semi-final, they played Wales and won 19–16 due to a converted try from Damian de Allende and four penalties from Pollard, including the match-winner in the 76th minute.[16] This was South Africa's third appearance in the World Cup final, following victories over New Zealand on home soil in 1995 and England in France in 2007.[10] South Africa made only one change for the final with Cheslin Kolbe replacing S'busiso Nkosi on the right wing.[12]



2 November 2019
18:00 JST (UTC+09)
England  12–32  South Africa
Pen: Farrell (4/5) 23', 35', 52', 60'
Report Try: Mapimpi 66' c
Kolbe 74' c
Con: Pollard (2/2) 67', 75'
Pen: Pollard (6/8) 10', 26', 39', 43', 46', 58'
South Africa
FB15Elliot Daly
RW14Anthony Watson
OC13Manu Tuilagi
IC12Owen Farrell (c)
LW11Jonny May 69'
FH10George Ford 49'
SH9Ben Youngs 75'
N88Billy Vunipola
OF7Sam Underhill 59'
BF6Tom Curry
RL5Courtney Lawes 40'
LL4Maro Itoje
TP3Kyle Sinckler 2'
HK2Jamie George 59'
LP1Mako Vunipola 45'
HK16Luke Cowan-Dickie 59'
PR17Joe Marler 45'
PR18Dan Cole 2'
LK19George Kruis 40'
FL20Mark Wilson 59'
SH21Ben Spencer 75'
CE22Henry Slade 49'
CE23Jonathan Joseph 69'
Eddie Jones
FB15Willie le Roux 67'
RW14Cheslin Kolbe
OC13Lukhanyo Am
IC12Damian de Allende
LW11Makazole Mapimpi
FH10Handré Pollard
SH9Faf de Klerk 76'
N88Duane Vermeulen
OF7Pieter-Steph du Toit
BF6Siya Kolisi (c) 63'
RL5Lood de Jager 21'
LL4Eben Etzebeth 59'
TP3Frans Malherbe 43'
HK2Bongi Mbonambi 21'
LP1Tendai Mtawarira 43'
HK16Malcolm Marx 21'
PR17Steven Kitshoff 43'
PR18Vincent Koch 43'
LK19RG Snyman 59'
LK20Franco Mostert 21'
FL21Francois Louw 63'
SH22Herschel Jantjies 76'
CE23François Steyn 67'
Rassie Erasmus

Player of the Match:
Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)

Assistant referees:
Romain Poite (France)[17]
Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)[17]
Television match official:
Ben Skeen (New Zealand)[17]


  • Siya Kolisi (South Africa) earned his 50th test cap.
  • François Steyn (South Africa) became the second Springbok player to win two World Cups. The first, Os du Randt, was on the Boks' victorious 1995 team and was also a teammate of Steyn in 2007.[18][19]
  • Jérôme Garcès became the first French referee to take charge of a Rugby World Cup final.[20]
  • South Africa became the first Southern Hemisphere team to win The Rugby Championship (previously the Tri Nations) and the Rugby World Cup in the same year.[21]
  • South Africa became the first team to win the Rugby World Cup having lost a match during the pool stage.[21][22]
  • This was the first final in which South Africa scored a try, and the one in which they scored the most points, more than they had in their previous two finals combined. It was also the most points England had scored in a final when finishing on the losing side.[21][23]
  • England and South Africa became the third pair of nations to face each other on two separate occasions in a World Cup final (previously having contested the 2007 final) after England and Australia (1991 and 2003), as well as France and New Zealand (1987 and 2011).
  • South Africa are the only nation to have contested at least one World Cup final never to have lost.[21]
  • England joined France on a record three losses in World Cup finals.[24]
  • This victory meant South Africa climb to the top of the World Rugby Rankings for the first time since 2009, it also meant England dropped to third.[21] South Africa were the fifth team to top the rankings in 2019, with New Zealand, Ireland, Wales and England all reaching number 1 at various points between June and November.[citation needed]

See also


  1. "Rugby World Cup: South Africa surge to glory as England fall short". Guardian. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  2. Rugby World Cup Twitter
  3. "England's World Cup final loss the most-watched UK TV moment this year". RugbyPass. 3 November 2019.
  4. "Typhoon Hagibis impact on Rugby World Cup 2019 matches". Rugby World Cup. 10 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. Fordyce, Tom (10 October 2019). "Rugby World Cup: England v France call-off disappointing but correct - Eddie Jones". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  6. Cantillon, Michael (19 October 2019). "England 40-16 Australia - Match Report". Sky Sports. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. Fordyce, Tom (26 October 2019). "England 19-7 New Zealand: Eddie Jones' side beat All Blacks to reach World Cup final". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  8. "England win Rugby World Cup". BBC Sport. 22 November 2003. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  9. "1991: Wallabies pip England". BBC Sport. 24 September 2003. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  10. Standley, James (20 October 2007). "World Cup final 2007". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  11. "England summon Ben Spencer for dramatic Rugby World Cup final call-up". The Guardian. 27 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  12. Flood, George (31 October 2019). "Latest England vs South Africa team updates". Evening Standard. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  13. "New Zealand stand firm against South Africa in heavyweight thriller". Guardian. 21 September 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  14. "Pools". World Rugby. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  15. "Japan 3 - South Africa 26". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  16. "Wales 16-19 South Africa". BBC Sport. 27 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  17. "Jérôme Garcès to referee Rugby World Cup 2019 final". Rugby World Cup. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  18. https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/rugby-world-cup/rwc-2019-japan/117126610/rugby-world-cup-final-frans-steyns-memories-of-late-loved-ones-drove-him-to-become-a-dual-champion
  19. https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/news/537409
  20. "Frenchman Jérôme Garcès to referee Rugby World Cup final". Guardian. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  21. "Rugby World Cup final: South Africa break records and beat All Blacks to milestones". stuff.co.nz. 3 November 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  22. "South Africa Crushes England in Rugby World Cup Final". The New York Times. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  23. "RWC 2019 - 10 Records That Were Broken". Americas Rugby News. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  24. "England 12-32 South Africa: Springboks win World Cup for record-equalling third time". BBC Sport. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.