Sep 09 2011

Bluff Your Way Through the Rugby World Cup – Part Two

14. England has knocked Australia and France out of the World Cup three times each, while Scotland have been knocked out by NZ three times.

15. The All Blacks have never beaten Australia in a Rugby World Cup Match. Australia and France have each knocked NZ out of the World Cup twice. 

16. Australia and South Africa have each won the World Cup twice. England and NZ have won it once each. France has twice been unsuccessful in the final.

17. Rugby Union is the national sport of six countries – Fiji, Georgia, New Zealand, Samoa,Tonga and Wales.

18. In April 2010 Lithuania broke the record of consecutive international wins (a record previously held by both New Zealand and South Africa) with their 18th win in tier 2 in a match against Serbia.


19. Rugby often occasionally features in literature.

  • It is described in the 1857 novel ‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays’.
  • Sherlock Holmes companion, Dr Watson, played Rugby for Blackheath.
  • The Bective Rangers Rugby Club features in many of James Joyce’s works, including Ulysses. (Although I must admit I haven’t made it to that bit)

20. The USA has more registered Rugby players than Australia (88,000 vs 87,000),  playing in 570 clubs. (Japan and Argentina also have more players than Australia). The US national side, The Eagles, has competed at six of the seven world cups, but not yet made it past the pool stage. George W Bush was a keen rugby player, playing fullback for Yale’s 1st XV in a famous victory over Harvard in 1968. Bill Clinton had a go at playing second row while at Oxford.

21. If you want to play in a World Cup, you should go and live in Georgia. There are only 4167 players you need to be better than to make the squad. Don’t go and live in England – you need to be better than 2,549,181 other poms.

Here is the number of registered players in the World Cup nations, (source:

  • England 2,549,196
  • South Africa 632,184
  • France 313,877
  • Ireland 153,080
  • NZ 137,835
  • Japan 122,598
  • Argentina 91,459
  • USA 88,151
  • Australia 86,952
  • Italy 66,176
  • Wales 50,557
  • Scotland 38,500
  • Fiji 36,030
  • Canada 23,853
  • Samoa 23,372
  • Russia 14,519
  • Romania 9612
  • Tonga 6891
  • Namibia 5822
  • Georgia 4181


22. The official Rugby World Cup Site is at

You can also read all about the world cup at

23. There is an official RWC iPhone/iPad app with news, scores and articles at RUGBY WORLD CUP 2011.

There is also a rugby heaven iPhone app at RugbyHeaven RWC 2011 .

If music is your thing, you might like the World In Union 2011 – The Official Album by Various Artists


24. If you’d like to have a flutter on the world cup, the All Blacks are overwhelming favourites at $1.66.

Australia are at $4.20, South Africa $9.00. England and France must be good value at $15.00.

How about Samoa at $226! I’d save my dough on Namibia , even given the odds of 5000:1.

25. The 2015 RWC will be held in England, who beat rival host bids from South Africa, Japan and Italy.


Yours in Rugby.

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