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Rugby World Cup: Date, teams, history & betting odds

The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of the sport when it comes to the international stage with the world's best battling it out to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

South Africa became the first country to win the tournament four times when beating New Zealand 12-11 in the 2023 final at the Stade de France, adding to their previous triumphs in 1995, 2007 and 2019. 

The Springboks are also just the second team to win back-to-back titles, matching the feat that was first achieved by the All Blacks who successfully defended the crown in 2015. 

Here is everything you need to know about rugby union's showpiece event.

WhatRugby World Cup 2027
WhereAustralia
When1st October - 13th November 2027
OddsNew Zealand 5/2, South Africa 3/1, France 5/1, Ireland 5/1, Australia 7/1, England 8/1
WhatRugby World Cup 2027

Rugby World Cup Date

The Rugby World Cup usually takes place in the last quarter of the year, running from September/October to November. 

The inaugural tournament in New Zealand in 1987 and the 1995 edition in South Africa are the two exceptions, as these were held from May to June. 

The 2027 World Cup, which will be held in Australia, is due to run from 1st October to 13th November. 

Rugby World Cup Format

The first three World Cups involved 16 nations that were evenly split into four pools, with the top two in each going through to the knockout stage of the tournament, where the quarter-finals, semi-finals, bronze medal match and final would be contested. 

Since 1999, the number of countries competing has increased from 16 to 20, with four pools made up of five teams in which the top two would again advance into the knockouts. 

Since 2007, the third-place sides would exit the competition but qualify for the next World Cup. For the 2027 World Cup and onwards, the tournament will expand to 24 teams after the decision to tweak the format was confirmed on 24th October, 2023. 

The tweaked structure will now involve six pools of four teams and see a last-16 stage added. The top two from each group will qualify along with the best four third-placed teams. The length of the tournament has also been reduced from seven to six weeks.

Rugby World Cup Venue

Australia has been chosen as the host nation of the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand, England and France have all hosted the competition twice, the latter most recently staging the 2023 tournament. 

Japan, Wales, South Africa and Australia have all staged the event on one occasion, though that will change for the Wallabies as they have been chosen as host nation for the 11th edition in 2027. 

A total of 12 venues in nine cities have been shortlisted to stage the matches. These are:

Stadium Australia (Sydney, New South Wales)
Sydney Football Stadium (Sydney, New South Wales)
Western Sydney Stadium (Sydney, New South Wales)
Perth Stadium (Perth, Western Australia)
Lang Park (Brisbane, Queensland)
Adelaide Oval (Adelaide, South Australia)
Newcastle International Sports Centre (Newcastle, New South Wales)
North Queensland Stadium (Townsville, Queensland)
Docklands Stadium (Melbourne, Victoria)
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (Melbourne, Victoria)
Canberra Stadium (Canberra, Australian Capital Territory)
Robina Stadium (Gold Coast, Queensland)

How to watch the Rugby World Cup

ITV provided full coverage of every game of Rugby World Cup 2023 in the UK and it is expected that they will once again be the designated broadcaster for the 2027 edition. 

However, the BBC could attempt to secure a deal to show some matches, something they have done previously. 

Rugby World Cup History

South Africa's victory in France in 2023 made them the most successful nation in the history of the competition, lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for a record fourth time. 

New Zealand remain second in the all-time standings with three victories, those coming in 1987, 2011 and 2015, while Australia are third having claimed silverware on two occasions (1991 and 1999). 

England are the only other team to have been crowned champions of the world, that success coming in 2003 when Jonny Wilkinson landed that famous drop goal to break Australian hearts. 

France are the only other side to have reached the World Cup final, doing so in 1987, 1999 and 2011, but they have lost on all three occasions and their search for a maiden title goes on.

Rugby World Cup 2027 Odds

Having fallen at the final hurdle in 2013, New Zealand are the 5/2 favourites to land a record-equalling fourth title in 2027. 

Reigning champions South Africa are 3/1 to become the first nation to win three tournaments in a row, a victory that would also give them a record-extending fifth crown. 

France are priced at 5/1 after failing to do the business on home soil in 2023, while Ireland are 5/1 to break their duck following their latest quarter-final exit. 

Host nation Australia are 7/1 to claim the spoils, ahead of 8/1 England, who are the last team to be in single-digit odds.

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