The Rugby World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in rugby. It is the competition that every player dreams about winning. So let’s take a look at how the tournament actually works.
How does the Rugby World Cup work? The 20 teams that qualify for the tournament are split into four groups. After a round robin format, the top two teams advance to the quarter-finals. From there, it is a simple knockout format leading to a single team being crowned Rugby World Cup champions.
The format for the Rugby World Cup is a lot more simple than you might think. 20 different teams qualify for the tournament through the different ways that you can qualify. Those 20 teams are then split into four different pools depending on their World Rugby ranking and how the team qualified.
At the start of the tournament, each pool will go for a round robin tournament, which means that each team in a pool will play every other team in their group once. The pool works in a league format, where there are four points for a win, two for a draw and zero for a loss.
There are also two bonus points available, one for losing by fewer than seven points and one for scoring four tries in a single game. After the round robin, the two team’s with the most points will advance to the quarter-final stages. From there, the tournament is a pretty simple knockout tournament, with the team on top at the end crowned champions.
There are some more details to the format. The team that finishes top of their group will play the team who finished second in a different group. It means there is an advantage to finishing top of your group in the tournament. There is also a bronze final, for the two teams who lose at the semi-final stage.
How do the Rugby World Cup groups work?
The format for the groups in the Rugby World Cup are pretty simple. When the draw takes place, the top four teams in the world are put into groups A to D. This helps to spread out the top teams and should in theory make the competition a lot fairer.
The next four teams in the world rankings are also put separately into groups A to D. From there, the rest of the 20 teams that qualify for the tournament are drawn into different pools, until there are five teams in each of the groups.
The groups will then play in a round robin format. This means that each team plays against every other team in their pool. There is no need for a home and away game, because the games are all played in the neutral host country of the tournament.
The points in the groups work in a normal league format. The points that team’s get in their pool is the same format as the Top 14, URC and Premiership Rugby. Each team gets four points for a win, two points for a draw and zero points for a loss.
There is also an opportunity to earn two bonus points in each game for all of the team’s. At the end of the round robin format, the team with the most points advances to the quarter-finals, to play the team who finished second in the pool next to them. The winners of Pool A play the runners up in Pool B and the winners of Pool C play the runners up in Pool D.
This is also the same for the other side, so there is a big advantage to finishing top of the group. The top three sides in each Pool also automatically qualify for the next tournament.
How many matches are there in the Rugby World Cup?
The current Rugby World Cup format features a total of 48 games. There are ten games in each of the pools. There are then just eight games in total in the knockout stages. There will be four quarter-finals, two semi-finals, a final and a bronze final.
It does not seem like the format for the Rugby World Cup is changing anytime soon and so it seems likely that there will continue to be 48 games at the Rugby World Cup. Those games are split between eight weekends from the start of September towards the end of October.
How many players can a team take to the Rugby World Cup?
Rugby World Cup squads will go through an incredible amount of stress and strain over a gruelling tournament. But the Rugby World Cup squads are not as big as you might think.
Teams can take 33 players to the Rugby World Cup in 2023. This may seem like a lot, but considering just how physical the sport is, it is not a lot of players to have for a tournament that could last eight weeks long for the teams who go to the semi-finals.
2023 is actually the first time that team’s have been able to take 33 players to the Rugby World Cup. Back in 2019, the limit for squads was just 31 players. There are quite often reserve players whose team’s take with them to the country that is hosting the tournament.
These players come into the team if there are injuries, even though they are not part of the official squad that is released prior to the tournament.
Is the Rugby World Cup every 4 years?
The Rugby World Cup takes place every four years, in a similar format to other major world cups in football or cricket for example. There are also other reasons why the tournament is held every four years.
For one thing, it makes the tournament a lot more special and prestigious if it only takes place every four years.
Also, those four years are needed for different countries to qualify for the tournament. While the majority of teams qualify for the Rugby World Cup through their position in the previous tournament, there are also different qualifying tournaments that need to take place.