2007 Rugby World Cup
Coupe du Monde – France 2007
RWC2007logo.svg
Tournament details
Host nation France
Dates7 September – 20 October (44 days)
No. of nations20 (91 qualifying)
Final positions
Champions Gold medal blank.svg South Africa (2nd title)
Runner-up Silver medal blank.svg England
Third place Bronze medal blank.svg Argentina
Tournament statistics
Matches played48
Attendance2,263,223 (47,150 per match)
Top scorer(s)South Africa Percy Montgomery (105)
Most triesSouth Africa Bryan Habana (8)
2003
2011

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 eight quarter-finalists from 2003 were granted automatic qualification, while 12 other nations gained entry through the regional qualifying competitions that began in 2004 – of them, Portugal was the only World Cup debutant. The top three nations from each pool at the end of the pool stage qualified automatically for the 2011 World Cup.

The competition opened with a match between hosts France and Argentina on 7 September at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris. The stadium was also the venue of the final, played between England and South Africa on 20 October, which South Africa won 15–6 to win their second World Cup title.

The opening ceremony of the 2007 Rugby World Cup

Bids

The Eiffel Tower in Paris decorated with a giant rugby ball for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Both England and France bid to host the tournament.[1][2] The tender document for the 2007 bidding process was due out on 31 October 2001. Both England and France were invited to re-submit their plans.[3] The International Rugby Board (IRB) stated that both countries must comply with tender document terms in one bid, but in their second option, could propose alternative ideas. The IRB said "England's original proposal contained three plans for hosting the tournament with a traditional, new and hybrid format all on offer... The French bid, while complying with the tender document in all other respects, fell outside one of the `windows` in which the IRB wanted to stage an event".[3] England's bids included a two-tier tournament and altering the structure of the qualifying tournament and France had a bid in September/October.[3]

It was announced in April 2003 that France had won the right to host the tournament.[4] The tournament was moved to the proposed September–October dates with the tournament structure remaining as it was.[4] It was also announced that ten French cities would be hosting games, with the final at the Stade de France.[4] French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said that "this decision illustrates the qualities of our country and its capacity to host major sporting events...This World Cup will be the opportunity to showcase the regions of France where the wonderful sport of rugby is deeply rooted".[4] French Sports Minister Jean-François Lamour said that "The organisation of this World Cup will shine over all of France because ten French towns have the privilege of organising matches and to be in the world's spotlight."[4] French cities to host games were Bordeaux, Lens, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, St. Etienne, Toulouse and Paris, and it was also announced that the final would be at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis.[4]

Qualifying

Nations participating in qualifying competition and those that have qualified automatically; Asia (purple), Africa (orange), Americas (green), Europe (blue) and Oceania (yellow). In total, over 90 nations took part.

The eight quarter-finalists from the 2003 World Cup all received automatic entry, with the other 12 nations coming from qualifying series around the world. Ten of the 20 positions available in the tournament were filled by regional qualifiers, with an additional two being filled by repechage qualification. The qualifying tournament was divided into five regional groups; Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.[5] Qualifying matches began in 2004 and were completed in early 2007. Including the automatic qualifiers, over 90 nations were in qualifying contention for the final tournament.

In July 2005, both Samoa and Fiji were confirmed as the qualifiers from Oceania, as Oceania 1 and 2 respectively.[6] In July of the following year, Argentina qualified as Americas 1 by defeating Uruguay 26–0 in Buenos Aires.[7] Americas 2 was filled in August when Canada defeated the United States 56–7 in Newfoundland.[8] The United States went on to qualify as Americas 3 after beating Uruguay in a two-legged tie in early October.[9] That month also saw Italy qualify as Europe 1 after defeating Russia 67–7 in Moscow, reaching the first place in its qualifying group; Romania defeated Spain 43–20 in Madrid, and also qualified for the World Cup as Europe 2.[10]

Namibia qualified for their third consecutive World Cup after they earned their spot in France by defeating Morocco over two legs in November.[11] In late 2006, it was announced that the IRB had withdrawn Colombo as the venue of the final Asian qualifying tournament due to security problems.[12] Japan won the only Asian allocation after the tournament was moved to Hong Kong.[13] Georgia was 14 points the better of Portugal over two legs to claim the last European place.[13] Tonga qualified through repechage after defeating Korea.[14] The final spot went to Portugal, joining Pool C after beating Uruguay 24–23 on aggregate. Portugal's qualification was the only change in the 20-team roster from the 2003 World Cup, replacing Uruguay, becoming the only wholly amateur team to qualify.

Africa Americas Europe Oceania/Asia