The 2015 Rugby World Cup is knocking at the doors and teams around the world are gearing up for it. The tournament is scheduled to start on 18 September and it will go on till 31 October.
England was chosen as the host of the 2015 Rugby World Cup back in 2009, as the country beat the other bidders like Japan, South Africa and Italy. The final of this year's World Championship will be played at the Twickenham Stadium in London on 31 October. Rugby World Cup games will be played across 13 venues in England.
History of Rugby World Cup
Rugby Union has been a popular sport that originated in England, but surprisingly it did not have its own World Cup until 1987. The most popular international championship used to be the 'Five Nations', which was previously known as the 'Home Nations.' Now it is popularly termed as the 'Six Nations.' It also used to feature in the Olympics prior to 1987 and then it was mutually agreed between the nations that it required its own World Cup.
Australia and New Zealand were the hosts of the first Rugby World Cup. New Zealand emerged as the champions then and now they even happen to be the defending champions. Only four teams have managed to win the World Cup so far -- New Zealand (2), Australia (2), South Africa (2) and England (1).
Rugby World Cup Format:
There will be 20 teams spread across four groups (5 in each pool) who will be battling it out for the coveted cup. The winners and the runners-up from each pool will make it to the knock-out stage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The points table will follow the standard Rugby Union points system as mentioned below.
|Scoring 4 tries or more||1 point|
|Losing by 7 points or less||1 point|
The knock-out stage will have the quarter-finals, semi-finals, bronze final and the final. The winners of each pool will be playing the runners-up of the other pool. Pool A winner will be playing Pool B runners-up and Pool B winner will be facing the Pool A runners-up.
The same process will be followed for Pool C and D respectively. Four teams who will end up winning the quarter-final games will proceed to the semi-finals. The losers from the semi-finals will be playing the bronze final game ahead of the big final of the Rugby World Cup 2015.
England being the host, have a lot of pressure on them. The crowd will be right behind the home team. They have done it once before but the question remains, can they do it again in front of their home support?
The tournament will begin with England-Fiji game on 18 September at Twickenham Stadium, which is known as the 'Home of English Rugby' and is also the largest Rugby stadium in the world. Fiji too have emerged as one of the strong contenders and they will give tough challenge to all the big teams in the world this championship.
On the other hand, New Zealand are the defending champions and they will be looking to emulate similar performances this time as well.
Here are the pools of the 2015 Rugby World Cup:
Pool A: Australia, England, Fiji, Wales, Uruguay.
Pool B: South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, United States of America.
Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Georgia, Namibia.
Pool D: France, Ireland, Italy, Canada, Romania.