2003 Rugby World Cup

Last updated

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

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.

Rugby World Cup international rugby union competition

The Rugby World Cup, through the upcoming 2019 edition, is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

England national rugby union team sportsteam in rugby union

The England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won this championship on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful outright winners in the tournament's history. They are ranked third in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 9 September 2019. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, when they won the tournament back in 2003. They were also runners-up in 1991 and 2007.

New Zealand national rugby union team mens rugby union team of New Zealand

The New Zealand national rugby union team, called the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men's rugby union, which is known as the country's national sport. The team has won the last two Rugby World Cups, in 2011 and 2015 as well as the inaugural tournament in 1987.


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 semifinal, 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.

Stadium Australia stadium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Stadium Australia, commercially known as ANZ Stadium and formerly as Telstra Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium located in the Sydney Olympic Park, in Sydney, Australia. The stadium, which in Australia is sometimes referred to as Sydney Olympic Stadium, Homebush Stadium or simply the Olympic Stadium, was completed in March 1999 at a cost of A$690 million to host the 2000 Summer Olympics. The Stadium was leased by a private company the Stadium Australia Group until the Stadium was sold back to the NSW Government on 1 June 2016 after NSW Premier Michael Baird announced the Stadium was to be redeveloped as a world-class rectangular stadium. The Stadium is owned by Venues NSW on behalf of the NSW Government. The nine-member Venues NSW Board is chaired by Christine McLoughlin.

Jonny Wilkinson English rugby union player

Jonathan Peter Wilkinson, CBE is an English former rugby union player. A fly-half, he played for Newcastle Falcons and Toulon and represented England and the British and Irish Lions. He is particularly known for scoring the winning drop goal in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final and is widely acknowledged as one of the best rugby union players of all time.

Webb Ellis Cup trophy

The Webb Ellis Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the Rugby World Cup, the premier competition in men's international rugby union. The Cup is named after William Webb Ellis, who is often credited as the inventor of rugby football. The trophy is silver gilt and has been presented to the winner of the Rugby World Cup since the first competition in 1987. It has been held three times by New Zealand, twice by Australia and South Africa, and once by England in 2003.


The following 20 teams, shown by region, qualified for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Of the 20 teams, eight of those places were automatically filled by the teams that reached the quarter-final stages in 1999, including hosts and world champions Australia and did not have to play any qualification matches. A record 81 nations from five continents were involved in the qualification process designed to fill the remaining 12 spots, which began on 23 September 2000.

The 1999 Rugby World Cup was the fourth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial international rugby union championship. It was principally hosted by Wales, and was won by Australia. This was the first Rugby World Cup to be held in the sport's professional era.

Australia national rugby union team national team representing Australia in rugby union

The Australia national rugby union team, nicknamed the Wallabies, is controlled by Rugby Australia. The team first played at Sydney in 1899, winning their first test match against the touring British Isles team.



Australia won the right to host the 2003 World Cup without the involvement of New Zealand after a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Rugby World Cup Limited. [1] Australia and New Zealand had been expected to co-host — with New Zealand expected to host 23 of the 48 matches — but New Zealand's insistence on amending the provisions relating to stadium advertising was unacceptable to the IRB. [2]


The overall stadium capacity was 421,311 across 11 venues. This was a reduction from the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales (with games also held in England, France, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland) which had a total capacity of 654,677 across 18 venues.

Wales Country in northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Republic of Ireland Country in Europe on the island of Ireland

Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern side of the island. Around a third of the country's population of 4.9 million people resides in the greater Dublin area. The sovereign state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, and the Irish Sea to the east. It is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, and an elected President who serves as the largely ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, who is elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the Taoiseach in turn appoints other government ministers.

The Adelaide Oval underwent a AU$20 million redevelopment for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, financed entirely by the South Australian Cricket Association, with two new grandstands built adjacent to the Victor Richardson Gates. Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane (formerly Lang Park) was a new A$280 million venue designed specifically for rugby league, rugby union and soccer, and was opened just prior to the start of the 2003 World Cup with a capacity of 52,500, some 12,000 more than the old Lang Park could hold. The Central Coast Stadium was also a newly built rectangular venue built for union, league and soccer. It was built on the site of the old Grahame Park ground and was opened in February 2000 at a cost of A$30 million.

Adelaide Oval Stadium in Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide, South Australia, located in the parklands between the city centre and North Adelaide. The venue is predominantly used for cricket and Australian rules football, but has also played host to rugby league, rugby union, soccer, tennis among other sports as well as regularly being used to hold concerts. Austadiums.com described Adelaide Oval as being "one of the most picturesque Test cricket grounds in Australia, if not the world". After the completion of the ground‘s most recent redevelopment in 2014, sports journalist Gerard Whateley described the venue as being "the most perfect piece of modern architecture because it's a thoroughly contemporary stadium with all the character that it's had in the past".

South Australian Cricket Association

The South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) is the peak body for the sport of cricket in South Australia. The association administers the Southern Redbacks based in Adelaide. SACA is the controlling body for the South Australian Grade Cricket League. The chairman is Andrew Sinclair.

Brisbane capital city of Queensland, Australia

Brisbane is the capital of and the most populated city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of approximately 2.5 million, and the South East Queensland metropolitan region, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.6 million.

The Sydney Football Stadium was one of two venues in Sydney that were used for football during the 2000 Olympic Games. The other venue in Sydney was Stadium Australia, which was the centrepiece of the 2000 Olympic Games. It was built as the main stadium of the 2000 Olympics at a cost of $690 million and with a capacity of 83,500 was the biggest stadium used in the 2003 World Cup (the stadium had an original capacity of 110,000 before undergoing a post-Olympics redevelopment from 2001-2003). The only stadium with a retractable roof used was the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne. Although the Docklands Stadium has movable seating which brings four sections of the lower bowl forward by 18 metres to create a more rectangular surround for the pitch, this was not used during the World Cup as it reduces the seating capacity of the stadium by approximately 3,500.

Sydney Melbourne Brisbane
Stadium Australia Sydney Football Stadium Docklands Stadium Lang Park
Capacity: 83,500Capacity: 42,500Capacity: 56,347Capacity: 52,500
Sydney-Galaxy-homebush.jpg Sydney Football Stadium during NSW Waratahs vs Melbourne Rebels game April 21, 2012.jpg Docklands Stadium.jpg Suncorpstadium071006a.JPG
Perth Adelaide
Subiaco Oval Adelaide Oval
Capacity: 42,922Capacity: 33,597
Subiaco Oval.jpg AdelOval07.jpg
Townsville Canberra
Willows Sports Complex Canberra Stadium
Capacity: 26,500Capacity: 25,011
14-05-2005-dairy farmers at dusk.JPG BruceStadium19032005.JPG
Gosford Launceston Wollongong
Central Coast Stadium York Park Wollongong Showground
Capacity: 20,059Capacity: 19,891Capacity: 18,484
Bluetongue CC Stadium.jpg Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs - 31st May 2008 181.jpg WIN Stadium2.jpg



Touch judges and television match officials

Source: [3]

Pools and format

Pool APool BPool CPool D

Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania

Flag of France.svg  France
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland

Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Flag of England.svg  England
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa
Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay

Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga

Following criticism of the complex format used in the 1999 Rugby World Cup a new simpler format was introduced and the twenty teams were divided into four pools of five nations, with the top two in each pool moving on to the knock-out quarter-final stage. With forty matches to be played in the pool stage on top of the knock-out matches would make the event the largest Rugby World Cup tournament to be played to date. For the first time, a bonus point system was implemented in pool play. This system is identical to that long used in Southern Hemisphere tournaments, and was soon adopted in most European competitions (though not in the Six Nations until 2017):

A total of 48 matches (40 pool stage and eight knock-out) were played throughout the tournament over 42 days from 10 October to 22 November 2003.


Pool stage

The opening game at Stadium Australia between Australia and Argentina World Cup Telstra stadium.jpg
The opening game at Stadium Australia between Australia and Argentina

The Australian media criticised the competition early in the tournament as the smaller nations were crushed by the rugby superpowers by 60 points or more. However, some of these smaller, third-tier nations, such as Japan, acquitted themselves well in their opening matches. The South Pacific island countries of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa were reported as being handicapped as several of their key players who play abroad being warned by their clubs that their contracts would not be renewed if they played in the competition.

In the event, the pool stage of the competition played out largely as expected, with some tension as to whether some of the "developing" nations would overtake some of the weaker major countries for the second quarter-final qualification place in each pool – in Pool A, Argentina lost to Ireland by only one point, which would otherwise have carried them into the quarter-finals in Ireland's place; similarly in Pool B Fiji lost to Scotland by only two points, while Italy put up a good performance in Pool D. In Pool C, Samoa gave England a fright with an adventurous approach that allowed them to take an early lead, however, but England overcame the early deficit and won. This match was marked by controversy, as England fielded 16 players at one point during the game. [4]

The big clashes ran mainly to form. South Africa came through the pool in second place, after they lost to England, which meant a quarter final against New Zealand. Australia however only beat Ireland by one point to top their pool, while Wales pushed the All Blacks to the wire, after adopting an outgoing style of play with a fringe selection. France beat Scotland to round out the quarter-finals.

Knock-out stage

The quarter-final stage produced the widely predicted set of semi-finalists, although England again made heavy weather of defeating a resurgent Wales. England were widely rated the world's best team, but they struggled, at least in the first half, against a Welsh side full of belief after their game against New Zealand: although England pulled away in the second half after the tactical substitution of Catt for Tindall, a late Welsh try gave the scoreline the respectability that their first-half performance had deserved. France destroyed an Irish side who had gone into the match hopeful of a win, scoring 31 early points to put the game out of reach. In the other quarter-finals, a disappointing South Africa fell to New Zealand and Australia defeated the Scots.

The first semi-final produced an upset, when Australia defeated the fancied New Zealand to become the first defending champions to reach the following championship final. Unfortunately, it was probably the last match for Australian star Ben Darwin, who injured his neck in a scrum. Although Darwin never played rugby again, the actions of Kees Meeuws – who immediately stopped exerting pressure when he heard the call "neck neck neck" – may well have saved his opponent's life and certainly prevented further injury. The match was decided by a Stirling Mortlock interception try, after a loose pass from highly rated All Blacks fly-half Carlos Spencer. George Gregan taunted his opponents in defeat with the comment, "Four more years boys, four more years". [5] [6]

The second semi-final saw France face England. The boot of Jonny Wilkinson was the difference between the two sides, with England coming out victors in torrential rain: although France scored the game's only try after an early English line-out error, they never seriously threatened the English line otherwise. And with handling being difficult in the wet and windy conditions, England's superior forward pressure and territorial control forced France to concede a slew of penalties, of which Wilkinson kicked five, also adding three drop goals (two off his less-favoured right boot) - a remarkable display considering that the swirling winds made accurate kicking as difficult as the rain and mud made passing and running.


The final between Australia and England was played at Sydney's Stadium Australia in front of a crowd of 82,957. Australia opened the scoring after they decided to run a penalty instead of kicking for touch. Lote Tuqiri beat England's right wing, Jason Robinson, to a high cross-field kick and went over for the first try, but Elton Flatley was not able to add the conversion.

Celebrations in Trafalgar Square England world cup.jpg
Celebrations in Trafalgar Square

The rest of the half was a tight affair, with England edging in front from applying pressure and Jonny Wilkinson's boot put them up to a 9–5 lead after Australian indiscipline gave away several penalties, but were unable to capitalise on their territory. Towards the end of the first half, England stretched their lead further. Lawrence Dallaglio made a break and popped the ball inside to Jonny Wilkinson, who drew the defence before putting Robinson away in the corner for a try. The conversion was missed, but England went in at half time leading by 14–5.

In the second half Australia tightened their discipline, and solid play forced mistakes from England. The game swung from end to end, with both sides having try-scoring opportunities, but neither able to take them. Australia managed to get points on the board and Elton Flatley scored two penalties to make the score 14–11 to England. In the 79th minute, Australia were putting pressure on England in their half, and Australia were awarded a penalty right before full-time, with the potential to tie the scores. Flatley converted it to make the score 14–14 and take the game into an additional 20 minutes' extra time.

England opened the scoring in extra time with another Wilkinson penalty, but with two and a half minutes of extra time remaining Australia were awarded another penalty, which Flatley kicked successfully. With 20 seconds left before sudden death, Wilkinson scored a drop goal to win the match and with it the world championship.


Three days after the final, the World Cup winning England team landed at Heathrow Airport in the early hours of the morning, emerging from their plane to a huge reception, despite the time. [7] On 8 December, a national day of celebration took place in the form of a massive victory parade in the streets of London. [8]

Pool stage

Qualified for the quarter-finals

Pool A

Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 440027332218
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 430114156315
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 420214057311
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 41036519215
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 40042831000
10 October 2003
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg24–8Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Try: Sailor 20'
Roff 74'
Con: Flatley
Pen: Flatley (4)
Try: Corleto 72'
Pen: M. Contepomi
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 81,350
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

11 October 2003
Ireland  IRFU flag.svg45–17Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
Try: S. Horgan
Hickie (2)
Con: Humphreys (3)
Pen: Humphreys (4)
Try: Penalty try
Con: Tofan
Pen: Tofan

14 October 2003
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg67–14Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia
Try: Méndez
Bouza (2)
J. Fernández Miranda
Penalty try (2)
Gaitán (3)
N. Fernández Miranda
Con: Quesada (7)
Pen: Quesada
Try: Grobler
Con: Wessels (2)
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Attendance: 17,887
Referee: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

18 October 2003
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg90–8Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
Try: Flatley
Rogers (3)
Burke (2)
Larkham (2)
Con: Flatley (11)
Pen: Flatley
Try: Toderasc
Pen: Tofan
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 48,778
Referee: Pablo De Luca (Argentina)

19 October 2003
Ireland  IRFU flag.svg64–7Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia
Try: Quinlan (2)
Miller (2)
G. Easterby
S. Horgan
Con: O'Gara (7)
Try: Powell
Con: Wessels
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 35,382
Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)

22 October 2003
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg50–3Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
Try: Gaitán
Hernández (2)
M. Contepomi
N. Fernández Miranda
Bouza (2)
Con: J. Fernández Miranda (4)
Quesada (2)
Pen: J. Fernández Miranda
Pen: Ionut Tofan
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 33,673
Referee: Chris White (England)

25 October 2003
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg142–0Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia
Try: Latham (5)
Tuqiri (3)
Penalty try
Rogers (2)
Giteau (3)
Turinui (2)
Con: Rogers (16)
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Attendance: 28,196
Referee: Joël Jutge (France)

Largest winning margin in Rugby World Cup history.

26 October 2003
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg15–16IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Pen: Quesada (3)
Drop: Quesada
Try: Quinlan
Con: Humphreys
Pen: Humphreys
O'Gara (2)
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Attendance: 30,203
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

30 October 2003
Namibia  Flag of Namibia.svg7–37Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
Try: Isaacs
Con: Wessels
Try: Petrichei
Con: Tofan (3)
Pen: Tofan (2)
York Park, Launceston
Attendance: 15,457
Referee: Peter Marshall (Australia)

1 November 2003
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg17–16IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Try: Smith
Pen: Flatley (3)
Drop: Gregan
Try: O'Driscoll
Con: O'Gara
Pen: O'Gara (2)
Drop: O'Driscoll
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Attendance: 54,206
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

Pool B

Flag of France.svg  France 440020470420
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 430110297214
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 420298114210
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 41038612526
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 40047916300
11 October 2003
France  Flag of France.svg61–18Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
Try: Dominici (2)
Jauzion (3)
Con: Michalak (4)
Pen: Michalak (6)
Try: Naevo
Con: Little
Pen: Little (2)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 46,795
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

12 October 2003
Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg32–11Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Try: Paterson (2)
Con: Paterson
Pen: Paterson
Try: Onozawa
Pen: Hirose (2)

15 October 2003
Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg19–18Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Try: Naevo
Con: Little
Pen: Little (4)
Try: Van Zyl
Con: Hercus
Pen: Hercus (2)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 30,990
Referee: Joël Jutge (France)

18 October 2003
France  Flag of France.svg51–29Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Try: Michalak
Rougerie (2)
Con: Michalak (5)
Pen: Michalak (3)
Try: Konia
Con: Kurihara (2)
Pen: Kurihara (5)
Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Attendance: 21,309
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

20 October 2003
Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg39–15Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Try: Danielli (2)
Con: Paterson (4)
Pen: Paterson (2)
Pen: Hercus (5)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 46,796
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

23 October 2003
Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg41–13Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Try: Tuilevu (2)
Ligairi (2)
Con: Little (2)
Pen: Little (4)
Try: Miller
Con: Miller
Pen: Miller
Drop: Miller

Andy Miller's drop goal, at 52 metres, remains the longest in Rugby World Cup history.

25 October 2003
France  Flag of France.svg51–9Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Try: Betsen
Con: Michalak (3)
Pen: Michalak (4)
Drop: Michalak
Pen: Paterson (3)
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 78,974
Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)

27 October 2003
Japan  Flag of Japan.svg26–39Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Try: Kurihara
Con: Kurihara (2)
Pen: Kurihara (4)
Try: Hercus
Van Zyl
Con: Hercus (4)
Pen: Hercus (2)
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Attendance: 19,653
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

31 October 2003
France  Flag of France.svg41–14Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Try: Liebenberg (3)
Con: Merceron (2)
Pen: Merceron (3)
Drop: Yachvili
Try: Hercus
Con: Hercus (2)
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Attendance: 17,833
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

1 November 2003
Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg22–20Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
Try: Smith
Con: Paterson
Pen: Paterson (5)
Try: Caucaunibuca (2)
Con: Little (2)
Pen: Little (2)
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 37,137
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

Pool C

South Africa vs Georgia, 24 October 2003 South Africa vs Georgia - WC 2003.jpg
South Africa vs Georgia, 24 October 2003
Flag of England.svg  England 440025547319
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 430118460315
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 4202138117210
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 41035625504
Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia 40044620000
11 October 2003
South Africa  Flag of South Africa.svg72–6Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Try: Van der Westhuizen (3)
Van Niekerk
Botha (2)
Con: Koen (5)
Pen: Aguirre (2)
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 16,906
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

12 October 2003
England  Flag of England.svg84–6Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia
Try: Tindall
Greenwood (2)
Cohen (2)
Con: Wilkinson (5)
Grayson (4)
Pen: Wilkinson (2)
Pen: Urjukashvili
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 25,501
Referee: Pablo De Luca (Argentina)

15 October 2003
Samoa  Flag of Samoa.svg60–13Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Try: Fa'asavalu (2)
Lima (2)
Con: Va'a (3)
Vili (2)
Try: Capó
Pen: Aguirre
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 22,020
Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)

18 October 2003
South Africa  Flag of South Africa.svg6–25Flag of England.svg  England
Pen: Koen (2)
Try: Greenwood
Con: Wilkinson
Pen: Wilkinson (4)
Drop: Wilkinson (2)
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 38,834
Referee: Peter Marshall (Australia)

19 October 2003
Georgia  Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg9–46Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa
Pen: Jimsheladze (2)
Drop: Jimsheladze
Try: Tagicakibau
Con: Va'a (5)
Pen: Va'a (2)
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 21,507
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

24 October 2003
South Africa  Flag of South Africa.svg46–19Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia
Try: Rossouw (2)
Van Niekerk
Con: Hougaard (4)
Pen: Hougaard
Try: Dadunashvili
Con: Jimsheladze
Pen: Jimsheladze (3)
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 34,308
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

26 October 2003
England  Flag of England.svg35–22Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa
Try: Back
Penalty try
Con: Wilkinson (3)
Pen: Wilkinson (2)
Drop: Wilkinson
Try: Sititi
Con: Va'a
Pen: Va'a (5)
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Attendance: 50,647
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

28 October 2003
Georgia  Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg12–24Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Pen: Urjukashvili
Kvirikashvili (3)
Try: Cardoso
Con: Aguirre (2)
Pen: Menchaca
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 28,576
Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)

1 November 2003
South Africa  Flag of South Africa.svg60–10Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa
Try: Van Niekerk
Van der Westhuyzen
De Kock
Con: Hougaard (5)
Koen (2)
Pen: Hougaard
Drop: Hougaard
Try: Palepoi
Con: Va'a
Pen: Va'a
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 48,496
Referee: Chris White (England)

2 November 2003
England  Flag of England.svg111–13Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Try: Moody
Lewsey (5)
Balshaw (2)
Catt (2)
Gomarsall (2)
Robinson (2)
Con: Grayson (11)
Catt (2)
Try: Lemoine
Con: Menchaca
Pen: Menchaca (2)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 46,233
Referee: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

Pool D

Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 440028257420
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 430113298214
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 42027712308
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 41035413515
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 40044617811
11 October 2003
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg70–7Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Try: B. Thorn
R. Thorne
Howlett (2)
Spencer (2)
Rokocoko (2)
Con: Carter (6)
Pen: Spencer
Try: Phillips
Con: Peens
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Attendance: 41,715
Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)

12 October 2003
Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg41–10Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Try: Parker
M. Jones
Con: Harris (5)
Pen: Harris (2)
Try: Tkachuk
Con: Pritchard
Drop: Ross
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Attendance: 24,874
Referee: Chris White (England)

15 October 2003
Italy  Flag of Italy.svg36–12Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga
Try: M. Dallan
D. Dallan (2)
Con: Wakarua (3)
Pen: Wakarua (5)
Try: Payne
Con: Tu'ipulotu
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Attendance: 18,967
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

17 October 2003
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg68–6Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Try: Ralph (2)
So'oialo (2)
Muliaina (4)
Con: Carter (9)
Pen: Barker (2)
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Attendance: 38,899
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

19 October 2003
Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg27–20Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga
Try: Cooper
M. Williams
Con: S. Jones
Pen: S. Jones (4)
Drop: M. Williams
Try: Hola
Con: Hola
Pen: Hola
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Attendance: 19,806
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

21 October 2003
Italy  Flag of Italy.svg19–14Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Try: Parisse
Con: Wakarua
Pen: Wakarua (4)
Try: Fyffe
Pen: Barker (3)
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Attendance: 20,515
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

24 October 2003
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg91–7Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga
Try: Braid
Ralph (2)
Penalty try
Muliaina (2)
Howlett (2)
Con: MacDonald (12)
Try: Hola
Con: Tu'ipulotu
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 47,588
Referee: Pablo De Luca (Argentina)

25 October 2003
Italy  Flag of Italy.svg15-27Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Pen: Wakarua (5)
Try: M. Jones
D. Jones
Con: Harris (3)
Pen: Harris (2)
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Attendance: 22,641
Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)

29 October 2003
Canada  Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg24–7Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga
Try: Fauth
Con: Pritchard
Pen: Ross (4)
Try: Kivalu
Con: Hola
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Attendance: 15,630
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

2 November 2003
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg53–37Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Try: Rokocoko (2)
Howlett (2)
Con: MacDonald (5)
Pen: MacDonald
Try: Taylor
S. Williams
Con: S. Jones (4)
Pen: S. Jones (3)
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 80,012
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

Knockout stage

8 November – Melbourne
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 29
15 November – Sydney (Telstra)
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 9
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 10
8 November – Brisbane
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 22
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 33
22 November – Sydney (Telstra)
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 16
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 17
9 November – Melbourne
Flag of England.svg  England 20
Flag of France.svg  France 43
16 November – Sydney (Telstra)
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 21
Flag of France.svg  France 7
9 November – Brisbane
Flag of England.svg  England 24Third place
Flag of England.svg  England 28
20 November – Sydney (Telstra)
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 17
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 40
Flag of France.svg  France 13


8 November 2003
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg29–9Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Try: MacDonald 16' c
Mealamu 59' m
Rokocoko 72' m
Con: MacDonald
Pen: MacDonald (3)
Drop: Mauger 45'
Pen: Hougaard (3)
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Attendance: 40,734
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

8 November 2003
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg33–16Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Try: Mortlock 46' c
Gregan 59' c
Lyons 64' c
Con: Flatley (3)
Pen: Flatley (4)
Try: Russell 80' c
Con: Paterson
Pen: Paterson (2)
Drop: Paterson 38'
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 45,412
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

9 November 2003
France  Flag of France.svg43–21IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Try: Magne 3' c
Dominici 29' c
Harinordoquy 33' c
Crenca 47' c
Con: Michalak (4)
Pen: Michalak (5)
Try: Maggs 52' c
O'Driscoll (2) 65' c, 80+2' c
Con: Humphreys (3)
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Attendance: 33,134
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

9 November 2003
England  Flag of England.svg28–17Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Try: Greenwood 44' c
Con: Wilkinson
Pen: Wilkinson (6)
Drop: Wilkinson 80+1'
Try: S. Jones 30' m
Charvis 35' m
M. Williams 71' c
Con: Harris
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 45,252
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)


15 November 2003
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg10–22Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Try: Thorne 35' c
Con: MacDonald
Pen: MacDonald
Try: Mortlock 9' c
Con: Flatley
Pen: Flatley (5)
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 82,444
Referee: Chris White (England)

16 November 2003
France  Flag of France.svg7–24Flag of England.svg  England
Try: Betsen 10' c
Con: Michalak
Pen: Wilkinson (5)
Drop: Wilkinson (3) 9', 38', 58'
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 82,346
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

Third-place play-off

20 November 2003
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg40–13Flag of France.svg  France
Try: Jack 12' c
Howlett 20' c
Rokocoko 51' c
Thorn 54' c
Muliaina 58' c
Holah 72' m
Con: MacDonald
Carter (4)
Try: Elhorga 42' c
Con: Yachvili
Pen: Yachvili
Drop: Yachvili
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 62,712
Referee: Chris White (England)


22 November 2003
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg17–20 (a.e.t.)Flag of England.svg  England
Try: Tuqiri 6' m
Pen: Flatley (4)
Report Try: Robinson 38' m
Pen: Wilkinson (4)
Drop: Wilkinson 100'
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 82,957
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)



The following table shows the team's results in major statistical categories. No teams were shown a red card during the tournament.

Team statistics
TriesConv­ersionsPenaltiesDrop goalsYellow cards
Flag of England.svg  England 770023936272381
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 760126743322111
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 76012605240611
Flag of France.svg  France 750211229222245
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 53021042717711
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 5302632016911
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 53022317141112
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 5302−121281311
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 4202831813621
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 4202−161061203
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 4202211812801
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 4202−46551402
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 4103−3997901
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 4103−8142911
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 4103−12785501
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 4103−19964600
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 4004−84651210
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 4004−13274104
Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia 4004−154111212
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 4004−28244001

Top point scorers

Top ten point scorers
PlayerTeamPositionPlayedTriesConv­ersionsPenal­tiesDrop goalsTotal pointsYellow cards
Jonny Wilkinson Flag of England.svg  England Fly-half 60102381130
Frédéric Michalak Flag of France.svg  France Fly-half 62171811010
Elton Flatley Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Centre 61162101000
Leon MacDonald Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Centre 742050750
Chris Paterson Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Fly-half 537131710
Mat Rogers Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Full-back 751600571
Mike Hercus Flag of the United States.svg  United States Fly-half 42790510
Rima Wakarua Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Fly-half 304140500
Earl Va'a Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa Fly-half 411080490
Dan Carter Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Fly-half 521900480

Top try scorers

Top ten try scorers
PlayerTeamPositionPlayedTriesConvPenaltiesDrop goalsTotal pointsYellow cardsRed cards
Doug Howlett Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Wing 770003500
Mils Muliaina Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Full-back 770003500
Joe Rokocoko Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Wing 560003000
Will Greenwood Flag of England.svg  England Centre 650002500
Chris Latham Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Full-back 150002500
Josh Lewsey Flag of England.svg  England Full-back 550002500
Mat Rogers Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Full-back 7516005710
Lote Tuqiri Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Wing 750002500
Pablo Bouza Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Number 8 240002000
Christophe Dominici Flag of France.svg  France Wing 540002010
Caleb Ralph Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Wing 240002000


The event was broadcast by Seven Network and Fox Sports in Australia and by ITV in the United Kingdom.

Related Research Articles

2007 Rugby World Cup 6th Rugby World Cup

The 2007 Rugby World Cup was the sixth Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. Twenty nations competed for the Webb Ellis Cup in the tournament, which was hosted by France from 7 September to 20 October. France won the hosting rights in 2003, beating a bid from England. The competition consisted of 48 matches over 44 days; 42 matches were played in ten cities throughout France, as well as four in Cardiff, Wales, and two in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The 1995 Rugby World Cup was the third Rugby World Cup. It was hosted and won by South Africa, and was the first Rugby World Cup in which every match was held in one country.

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 championship game. Once again, South Africa was not represented due to international sanctions imposed upon the "Springboks" by the IRB, due to the Apartheid Government policies. Following on from the success of the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup, the 1991 World Cup received increased attention and was seen as a major global sporting event for the first time. 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 however 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.

2015 Rugby World Cup 8th Rugby World Cup

The 2015 Rugby World Cup was the eighth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial rugby union world championship. The tournament was hosted by England from 18 September to 31 October. Of the 20 countries competing in the World Cup in 2011, there was only one change: Uruguay replaced Russia. This was the first World Cup with no new teams to the tournament.

2003 Rugby World Cup Final

The 2003 Rugby World Cup Final was the final match in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the fifth Rugby World Cup. The match was played between England and Australia on 22 November 2003 at Telstra Stadium in Sydney in front of a crowd of 82,957.

Australia at the Rugby World Cup

The Australian national rugby union team, known as the Wallabies, has played all eight Rugby World Cup tournaments. They are one of the three best performing teams, having won two tournaments, as has South Africa; only New Zealand has done better, winning three tournaments. Australia has hosted or co-hosted the tournament on two occasions – in 1987 and 2003.

History of rugby union matches between France and New Zealand

The national rugby union teams of France and New Zealand have been playing each other for over a century; as of 19 October 2015, they have played 56 Test matches against each other. The first encounter, which was also France's first Test, took place in Paris in January 1906 and was won by New Zealand 38–8. It was not until 1954 that France secured their first win over New Zealand (3–0).

The knockout stage of the 2007 Rugby World Cup began on 6 October with a quarter-final between Australia and England and concluded on 20 October with the final, at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, between England and South Africa, their second meeting in this tournament.

2007 Rugby World Cup Final rugby union match, played on Saturday, 20 October 2007

The 2007 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match, played on Saturday, 20 October 2007 at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis, Paris, to determine the winner of the 2007 Rugby World Cup. South Africa beat England 15-6. Having also won the 1995 tournament, South Africa became the second country to win two World Cups, following Australia, who won in 1991 and 1999.

Wales at the Rugby World Cup

The Wales national rugby union team have played in all eight Rugby World Cup tournaments. Their best finishes were third placing in 1987, when they beat Australia in the bronze final, and fourth placing in 2011.

Ireland at the Rugby World Cup

The Ireland national rugby union team have played all eight Rugby World Cup tournaments. They have played in the quarter-finals at all but two tournaments, but have yet to progress to the semi-finals. They have finished top of their pool twice. Ireland has never played either South Africa or England in a World Cup match.

1995 Rugby World Cup Final

The 1995 Rugby World Cup Final was the final match of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, played in South Africa. The match was played at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg on 24 June 1995 between the host nation, South Africa, and New Zealand.

The 2013 Rugby League World Cup final was the conclusive game of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup tournament and was played between New Zealand and Australia on November 30, 2013 at Old Trafford, Manchester, England. Australia won the final by 34 points to 2 in front of a sell-out crowd, finishing the tournament undefeated. They reclaimed the cup from New Zealand, who had defeated them in the 2008 final. The Kangaroos won the Rugby League World Cup for the tenth time, and the first time since 2000. Their five-eighth, Johnathan Thurston was named man-of-the-match.

2015 Rugby World Cup Final

The 2015 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match to determine the winner of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, played between reigning champions New Zealand and their rivals Australia on 31 October 2015 at Twickenham Stadium in London. New Zealand beat Australia 34–17, winning the World Cup for a record third time, and becoming the first team to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.

The 2019 Hong Kong Sevens was a rugby sevens tournament that took place at the Hong Kong Stadium between the 5–7 April 2019. It was the 44th edition of the Hong Kong Sevens, and the seventh tournament of the 2018–19 World Rugby Sevens Series. Sixteen teams competed in the main tournament, while a further twelve competed in a qualifier tournament with the winner getting core team status for the 2019–20 World Rugby Sevens Series.


  1. "New Zealand loses Cup status", BBC, 8 March 2002.
  2. "NZ loses Rugby World Cup", BBC, 18 April 2002.
  3. "The whistlers that contol the cup". www.nzherald.co.nz. 2 October 2003. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  4. thefreelibrary.com
  5. youtube.com
  6. Devlin, Martin (10 May 2009). "Cup won't be empty for three more years". Sunday News . Retrieved 14 September 2011.[ permanent dead link ]
  7. "England rugby heroes arrive home". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 25 November 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2006.
  8. "Visa International Renews Rugby World Cup Partnership". corporate.visa.com. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2006.