National team appearances in the Rugby World Cup

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This article presents the national team appearances in the Rugby World Cup. The article tracks the appearances, results, and debuts for all national teams that have participated in at least one Rugby World Cup.

Number of appearances[edit]

Team Apps Record
streak
Active
streak
Debut Most
recent
Best result
 New Zealand 8 8 8 1987 2015 Champions (1987, 2011, 2015)
 Australia 8 8 8 1987 2015 Champions (1991, 1999)
 South Africa 6 6 6 1995 2015 Champions (1995, 2007)
 England 8 8 8 1987 2015 Champions (2003)
 France 8 8 8 1987 2015 Runners-up (1987, 1999, 2011)
 Wales 8 8 8 1987 2015 Third place (1987)
 Argentina 8 8 8 1987 2015 Third place (2007)
 Scotland 8 8 8 1987 2015 Fourth place (1991)
 Ireland 8 8 8 1987 2015 Quarter-finals (x6)
 Fiji 7 5 5 1987 2015 Quarter-finals (1987, 2007)
 Samoa 7 7 7 1991 2015 Quarter-finals (1991, 1995)
 Canada 8 8 8 1987 2015 Quarter-finals (1991)
 Japan 8 8 8 1987 2015 3 wins (2015)
 Italy 8 8 8 1987 2015 2 wins (x4)
 Tonga 7 6 6 1987 2015 2 wins (2007, 2011)
 Georgia 4 4 4 2003 2015 2 wins (2015)
 Romania 8 8 8 1987 2015 1 win (x6)
 United States 7 5 5 1987 2015 1 win (1987, 2003, 2011)
 Uruguay 3 2 1 1999 2015 1 win (1999, 2003)
 Namibia 5 5 5 1999 2015 0 wins
 Zimbabwe 2 2 0 1987 1991 0 wins
 Ivory Coast 1 1 0 1995 1995 0 wins
 Spain 1 1 0 1999 1999 0 wins
 Portugal 1 1 0 2007 2007 0 wins
 Russia 1 1 0 2011 2011 0 wins

Results by tournament[edit]

Map of countries' best results (click to enlarge)
Legend
  • R2 — Round 2 (1999: quarterfinal playoffs)
  • R1 — Round 1 (pool stage)
  • L — Last place
  •  ••  — Invited or qualified but declined or withdrew
  •  •  — Did not qualify
  •     — Not invited (1987) / Did not enter / Withdrew
  •    — Hosts

For each tournament, the number of teams in each finals tournament (in brackets) are shown.

Team 1987
(16)
1991
(16)
1995
(16)
1999
(20)
2003
(20)
2007
(20)
2011
(20)
2015
(20)
 Argentina R1
13th
R1
14th
R1
13th
QF
8th
R1
9th
3rd QF
8th
4th
 Australia 4th 1st QF
5th
1st 2nd QF
6th
3rd 2nd
 Canada R1
9th
QF
8th
R1
10th
R1
12th
R1
14th
R1
17th
R1
13th
R1
17th
 England QF
5th
2nd 4th QF
5th
1st 2nd QF
6th
R1
10th
 Fiji QF
8th
R1
13th
R2
10th
R1
10th
QF
7th
R1
14th
R1
15th
 France 2nd QF
7th
3rd 2nd 4th 4th 2nd QF
6th
 Georgia ••(2) R1
19th
R1
13th
R1
15th
R1
12th
 Ireland QF
7th
QF
6th
QF
8th
R2
9th
QF
6th
R1
11th
QF
7th
QF
5th
 Italy R1
12th
R1
10th
R1
11th
R1
20th
R1
12th
R1
12th
R1
11th
R1
11th
 Ivory Coast(1) R1
15th
 Japan R1
15th
R1
9th
R1
16th
R1
17th
R1
17th
R1
16th
R1
17th
R1
9th
 Namibia R1
19th
R1
20th
R1
20th
R1
20th
R1
18th
 New Zealand 1st 3rd 2nd 4th 3rd QF
5th
1st 1st
 Portugal R1
19th
 Romania R1
11th
R1
12th
R1
14th
R1
14th
R1
15th
R1
15th
R1
19th
R1
16th
 Russia ••(2) R1
18th
 Samoa(3) QF
7th
QF
7th
R2
11th
R1
11th
R1
14th
R1
10th
R1
13th
 Scotland QF
6th
4th QF
6th
QF
6th
QF
8th
QF
8th
R1
9th
QF
7th
 South Africa(4) 1st 3rd QF
5th
1st QF
5th
3rd
 Spain R1
18th
 Tonga R1
14th
R1
12th
R1
15th
R1
18th
R1
10th
R1
12th
R1
14th
 United States R1
10th
R1
15th
R1
16th
R1
13th
R1
18th
R1
16th
R1
19th
 Uruguay R1
13th
R1
16th
R1
20th
 Wales 3rd R1
11th
R1
9th
QF
7th
QF
7th
R1
9th
4th QF
8th
 Zimbabwe R1
16th
R1
16th

Debut of national teams[edit]

25 nations have thus far qualified for the Rugby World Cup. From 1987 until 2011, each edition featured at least one new debuting country. The 2015 tournament was the first edition with no country making its debut.

Year Nation(s) Total
1987  Argentina
 Australia
 Canada
 England
 Fiji
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Japan
 New Zealand
 Romania
 Scotland
 Tonga
 United States
 Wales
 Zimbabwe
16
1991  Samoa 1
1995  Ivory Coast
 South Africa
2
1999  Namibia
 Spain
 Uruguay
3
2003  Georgia 1
2007  Portugal 1
2011  Russia 1
2015 (none) 0

Result of host nations[edit]

The best result by hosts is champions, achieved by New Zealand in 1987 and 2011, and by South Africa in 1995. The worst result was by Wales in 1991 with only one win in pool play, although they did not host the final. The worst result by a country who hosted the final is held by England, being eliminated in the group stage in 2015.

Year Host nation Finish
1987  New Zealand Champions
 Australia Fourth Place
1991  England Runners-up
 Scotland Fourth Place
 France Quarter Final
 Ireland Quarter Final
 Wales Group Stage
1995  South Africa Champions
1999  Wales Quarter Final
2003  Australia Runners-up
2007  France Fourth Place
2011  New Zealand Champions
2015  England Group Stage
2019  Japan

Results of defending champions[edit]

New Zealand is the only nation to successfully defend the World Cup as defending champions in 2015. Australia and England achieved runner up in 2003 and 2007, respectively. The worst results were by Australia in 1995 and South Africa in 2011, both exiting in the quarter-finals.

Year Defending champions Finish
1991  New Zealand Third Place
1995  Australia Quarter Final
1999  South Africa Third Place
2003  Australia Runners-up
2007  England Runners-up
2011  South Africa Quarter Final
2015  New Zealand Champions
2019  New Zealand

See also[edit]

External links[edit]