1991 Rugby World Cup

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1991 Rugby World Cup
Tournament details
Host nationsFlag of England.svg  England
Flag of France.svg  France
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Dates3 October – 2 November (31 days)
No. of nations16 (33 qualifying)
Final positions
Champions   Gold medal blank.svg Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Runner-up  Silver medal blank.svg Flag of England.svg  England
Third place  Bronze medal blank.svg Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Tournament statistics
Matches played32
Attendance1,021,827 (31,932 per match)
Top scorer(s) IRFU flag.svg Ralph Keyes (68)
Most tries Flag of France.svg Jean-Baptiste Lafond
Flag of Australia (converted).svg David Campese
(6 tries each)

The 1991 Rugby World Cup was the second edition of the Rugby World Cup, and was jointly hosted by England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France: at the time, the five European countries who participated in the Five Nations Championship. This was the first Rugby World Cup to be staged in the northern hemisphere, with England the hosts of the final. Also for the first time, qualifying competitions were introduced as the number of entrants had increased from 16 nations four years before to a total of 33 countries. The eight quarter-finalists from 1987 qualified automatically with the remaining eight spots contested through qualifiers by 25 countries. This resulted in only one new side qualifying for the tournament, Western Samoa replacing Tonga. The same 16-team pool/knock-out format was used with just minor changes to the points system. South Africa was again not included because of sanctions imposed on the country by the IRB, due to the government's apartheid policies.


The pool stages produced a major shock when Western Samoa, who were making their debut in the tournament, defeated 1987 semi-finalist Wales 16–13 in Cardiff. Along with the other results in the group, this led to the elimination of Wales, who finished third in Pool 3. Also notable in pool play was that Canada finished second in their pool to qualify for the quarter-finals, which remains their best performance in the World Cup. Fiji, as quarter-finalists four years earlier, had expected to occupy that position, but after the upset loss to Canada and a hammering by France, they lost even their final match against the unfancied Romanian team. Earlier, the opening match had pitted the holders New Zealand against the hosts England: New Zealand overturned a narrow half-time deficit to win the match and the pool, both teams qualifying for the quarter-finals with easy victories in their other matches. Scotland beat Ireland to top their pool, again both teams qualifying.

In the quarter-finals, neither Canada nor Western Samoa proved a match for New Zealand or Scotland, respectively. Meanwhile, England knocked out 1987 finalist France in a bruising encounter. Australia pipped Ireland 19–18 in a thrilling match at Lansdowne Road, with a last-gasp try from fly-half Michael Lynagh coming after the Irish took an unexpected 18–15 lead. The semi-finals produced two tight matches: England overcame Scotland 9–6, a late drop goal deciding a tryless match in a torrential downpour at Murrayfield Stadium, and Australia defeated the defending champions New Zealand 16–6 at Lansdowne Road.

The final was played at Twickenham Stadium in London, and saw Australia triumph 12–6 against England, with a first-half try from prop Tony Daly.


The following 16 teams, shown by region, qualified for the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Of the 16 teams, eight of those places were automatically filled by quarter-finalists from the 1987 World Cup and did not have to play any qualification matches. 25 nations competed in a qualification process designed to fill the remaining eight spots, bringing the total participation to 33 nations. In the event, there was only one change from the 1987 tournament, with Western Samoa appearing in place of Tonga.



Flag of England.svg London Flag of Scotland.svg Edinburgh Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cardiff Flag of Ireland.svg Dublin Flag of France.svg Paris
Twickenham Stadium Murrayfield Stadium National Stadium Lansdowne Road Parc des Princes
Capacity: 75,000Capacity: 67,800Capacity: 53,000Capacity: 49,250Capacity: 48,712
Twickenham rfu.jpg A pot of gold... - geograph.org.uk - 718806.jpg The National Stadium The Arms Park Cardiff.jpg Leinster2006.jpg Paris-Parc-des-Princes.jpg
Flag of France.svg Toulouse Flag of France.svg Grenoble Flag of France.svg Villeneuve d'Ascq Flag of France.svg Béziers Flag of England.svg Leicester
Stade Ernest-Wallon Stade Lesdiguières Stadium Lille-Metropole Stade de la Méditerranée Welford Road
Capacity: 19,000Capacity: 18,548*Capacity: 18,185Capacity: 18,000Capacity: 16,815
Stade-ernest-wallon-04.jpg Tribune lienard.jpg Stadium Nord (Champions League).png BeziersMassy2.jpg Welford Road, Leicester Tigers.jpg
Flag of France.svg Brive Flag of France.svg Agen Flag of France.svg Bayonne Flag of England.svg Gloucester Ulster Banner.svg Belfast
Parc Municipal des Sports Stade Armandie Stade Jean Dauger Kingsholm Ravenhill
Capacity: 16,000Capacity: 14,000Capacity: 13,500Capacity: 12,500Capacity: 12,300
Stade Amedee Domenech.JPG Tribuneouest.JPG STA 0480.jpg Kingsholm in 2007.jpg Ravenhillstadium.jpg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Llanelli Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypool Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd Flag of England.svg Otley
Stradey Park Pontypool Park Sardis Road Cross Green
Capacity: 10,800Capacity: 14,000Capacity: 7,200Capacity: 5,000
Stradey Park.jpg Pontypool Rugby Ground - geograph.org.uk - 1760922.jpg Sardis Road - Pontypridd.jpg Cross Green rugby ground, Otley.jpg




Pool 1Pool 2Pool 3Pool 4

Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Flag of England.svg  England
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Flag of the United States.svg  United States

Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe

Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina

Flag of France.svg  France
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania

As in the 1987 Rugby World Cup the 16 nations were divided into four pools of four nations, with each nation playing their other pool opponents once, every nation playing three times during the pool stages. Nations were awarded 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw and zero for a loss, 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. The winners moved on to the semi finals, with the winners then moving onto the final, and the losers of the semi finals contesting a third/fourth place play off.

Points system

The points system that was used in the pool stage was which was changed from 1987 was as follows:

A total of 32 matches (24 in the pool stage and eight in the knock-out stage) were played throughout the tournament over 30 days from 3 October 1991 to 2 November 1991.

Pool stage

Pool 1

Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 330095396
Flag of England.svg  England 320185334
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 310257762
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 3003241130
3 October 1991
England  Flag of England.svg12–18Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Pen: Webb (3)
Drop: Andrew
Try: Jones
Con: Fox
Pen: Fox (4)
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 57,000
Referee: Jim Fleming (Scotland)

5 October 1991
Italy  Flag of Italy.svg30–9Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Try: Barba
Con: Dominguez (4)
Pen: Dominguez (2)
Try: Swords
Con: Williams
Pen: Williams
Cross Green, Otley
Attendance: 7,500
Referee: Owen Doyle (Ireland)

8 October 1991
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg46–6Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Try: Wright (3)
Con: Preston (4)
Pen: Preston (2)
Pen: Williams (2)
Kingsholm, Gloucester
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Efraim Sklar (Argentina)

8 October 1991
England  Flag of England.svg36–6Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Try: Guscott (2)
Con: Webb (4)
Pen: Webb (4)
Try: Cuttitta
Con: Dominguez
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: Brian Anderson (Scotland)

11 October 1991
England  Flag of England.svg37–9Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Try: Underwood (2)
Con: Hodgkinson (4)
Pen: Hodgkinson (3)
Try: Nelson
Con: Williams
Pen: Williams
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 45,000
Referee: Les Peard (Wales)

13 October 1991
Italy  Flag of Italy.svg21–31Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Try: Cuttitta
Con: Dominguez (2)
Pen: Dominguez (3)
Report Try: Brooke
Con: Fox (3)
Pen: Fox (3)
Welford Road, Leicester
Attendance: 15,711
Referee: Kerry Fitzgerald (Australia)

Pool 2

Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 3300122366
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 3201102514
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 310277872
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe 3003311580
5 October 1991
Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg47–9Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Try: S. Hastings
Penalty try
G. Hastings
Con: G. Hastings (5)
Pen: G. Hastings (2)
Report Try: Hosokawa
Con: Hosokawa
Drop: Hosokawa
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Ed Morrison (England)

6 October 1991
Ireland  IRFU flag.svg55–11Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
Try: Robinson (4)
Popplewell (2)
Con: Keyes (4)
Pen: Keyes (5)
Report Try: Dawson
Pen: Ferreira
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Keith Lawrence (New Zealand)

9 October 1991
Ireland  IRFU flag.svg32–16Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Try: Mannion (2)
Con: Keyes (2)
Pen: Keyes (4)
Report Try: Hayashi
Con: Hosokawa (2)
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: Laikini Colati (Fiji)

9 October 1991
Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg51–12Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
Try: Tukalo (3)
S. Hastings
Con: Dods (5)
Pen: Dods (2)
Drop: Wylie
Report Try: Garvey (2)
Con: Currin (2)
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Don Reordan (United States)

12 October 1991
Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg24–15IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Try: Shiel
Con: G. Hastings (2)
Pen: G. Hastings (3)
Drop: Chalmers
Report Pen: Keyes (4)
Drop: Keyes
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Fred Howard (England)

14 October 1991
Japan  Flag of Japan.svg52–8Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
Try: Yoshida (2)
Mashuho (2)
Kutsuki (2)
Con: Hosokawa (2)
Pen: Hosokawa (4)
Report Try: Tsimba
Ravenhill, Belfast
Attendance: 9,500
Referee: René Hourquet (France)

Pool 3

Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 330079256
Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa 320154344
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 310232612
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 300338830
4 October 1991
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg19–32Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Try: Terán (2)
Con: Del Castillo
Pen: Del Castillo
Drop: Arbizu (2)
Try: Campese (2)
Horan (2)
Con: Lynagh (3)
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Stradey Park, Llanelli
Attendance: 11,000
Referee: Dave Bishop (New Zealand)

6 October 1991
Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg13–16Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa
Try: Emyr
Con: Ring
Pen: Ring
Report Try: Vaega
Con: Vaea
Pen: Vaea (2)
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Attendance: 45,000
Referee: Patrick Robin (France)

9 October 1991
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg9–3Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa
Pen: Lynagh (3)
Pen: Vaea
Pontypool Park, Pontypool
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Ed Morrison (England)

9 October 1991
Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg16–7Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Try: Arnold
Pen: Ring (3)
Try: García Simón
Pen: Del Castillo
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: René Hourquet (France)

12 October 1991
Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg3–38Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Pen: Ring
Try: Roebuck (2)
Con: Lynagh (4)
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Keith Lawrence (New Zealand)

13 October 1991
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg12–35Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa
Try: Terán
Con: Arbizu
Pen: Laborde
Try: Tagaloa (2)
Lima (2)
Con: Vaea (4)
Pen: Vaea
Sardis Road, Pontypridd
Attendance: 8,500
Referee: Brian Anderson (Scotland)
Replaced by Jim Fleming (Scotland)

Pool 4

Flag of France.svg  France 330082256
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 320145334
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 310231642
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 300327630
4 October 1991
France  Flag of France.svg30–3Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
Try: Roumat
Penalty try
Con: Camberabero
Pen: Camberabero (4)
Pen: Nichitean
Stade de la Méditerranée, Béziers
Attendance: 22,000
Referee: Les Peard (Wales)

5 October 1991
Canada  Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg13–3Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
Try: Stewart
Pen: Rees (3)
Drop: Serevi
Stade Jean Dauger, Bayonne
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Kerry Fitzgerald (Australia)

8 October 1991
France  Flag of France.svg33–9Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
Try: Lafond (3)
Sella (2)
Con: Camberabero (3)
Pen: Camberabero
Try: Naruma
Con: Koroduadua
Pen: Koroduadua
Stade Lesdiguières, Grenoble
Attendance: 18,548
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)

9 October 1991
Canada  Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg19–11Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
Try: McKinnon
Con: Mark Wyatt
Pen: Wyatt (2)
Drop: Rees
Try: Lungu
Pen: Nichitean
Stade Ernest-Wallon, Toulouse
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Sandy MacNeill (Australia)

12 October 1991
Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg15–17Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
Pen: Turuva (2)
Drop: Rabaka (2)
Try: Ion
Con: Racean
Pen: Nichitean
Parc Municipal des Sports, Brive
Attendance: 8,500
Referee: Owen Doyle (Ireland)

13 October 1991
France  Flag of France.svg19–13Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Try: Lafond
Con: Camberabero
Pen: Lacroix (2)
Try: Wyatt
Pen: Wyatt
Drop: Rees
Stade Armandie, Agen
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Stephen Hilditch (Ireland)

Knockout stage

19 October – Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 28
26 October – Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa 6
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 6
19 October – Parc des Princes, Paris
Flag of England.svg  England 9
Flag of France.svg  France 10
2 November – Twickenham Stadium, London
Flag of England.svg  England 19
Flag of England.svg  England 6
20 October – Stadium Lille-Metropole, Villeneuve d'Ascq
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 12
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 29
27 October – Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 13
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 6
20 October – Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 16Third place
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 19
30 October – Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 18
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 6
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 13


19 October 1991
France  Flag of France.svg10–19Flag of England.svg  England
Try: Lafond
Pen: Lacroix (2)
Report Try: Underwood
Con: Webb
Pen: Webb (3)
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 48,500
Referee: Dave Bishop (New Zealand)

19 October 1991
Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg28–6Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa
Try: Jeffrey (2)
Con: Hastings (2)
Pen: Hastings (4)
Report Pen: Vaea
Drop: Bachop
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)

20 October 1991
Ireland  IRFU flag.svg18–19Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Try: Hamilton
Con: Keyes
Pen: Keyes (3)
Drop: Keyes
Report Try: Campese (2)
Con: Lynagh (2)
Pen: Lynagh
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 54,500
Referee: Jim Fleming (Scotland)

20 October 1991
Canada  Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg13–29Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Try: Tynan
Con: Rees
Pen: Wyatt
Report Try: Timu (2)
Con: Fox (3)
Pen: Fox


26 October 1991
Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg6–9Flag of England.svg  England
Pen: G. Hastings (2)
Report Pen: Webb (2)
Drop: Andrew
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Kerry Fitzgerald (Australia)

27 October 1991
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg16–6Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Try: Campese
Con: Lynagh
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Report Pen: Fox (2)
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Jim Fleming (Scotland)

Third-place play-off

30 October 1991
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg13–6Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Try: Little
Pen: Preston (3)
Report Pen: G. Hastings (2)
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Attendance: 47,000
Referee: Stephen Hilditch (Ireland)


2 November 1991
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg12–6Flag of England.svg  England
Try: Daly
Con: Lynagh
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Report Pen: Webb (2)
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 56,208
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)


The tournament's top point scorer was Ireland's Ralph Keyes, who scored 68 points. David Campese and Jean-Baptiste Lafond scored the most tries, six in total.

Top 10 point scorers
PlayerTeamPositionPlayedTriesConv­ersionsPenal­tiesDrop goalsTotal points
Ralph Keyes IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Fly-half 40716268
Michael Lynagh Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Fly-half 621112066
Gavin Hastings Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Fullback 51913061
Jonathan Webb Flag of England.svg  England Fullback 51514056
Grant Fox Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand First five-eighth 40710044
Didier Camberabero Flag of France.svg  France Fly-half 3156032
Diego Dominguez Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Fly-half 3075029
Takahiro Hosokawa Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Fullback 3182129
Mathew Vaea Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa Scrum-half 4055025
David Campese Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Wing 6600024


The event was broadcast in the United Kingdom by ITV who took over the rights from the BBC.

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    External video
    Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg Rugby World Cup 1991 Quarter-final France v England on YouTube