Who is playing in the Rugby World Cup 2023

The Rugby World Cup is just a year away at the time of writing and it will be a brilliant showcase of the best international rugby teams in the world. 

Who is playing in the Rugby World Cup 2023? There will be 20 teams playing in the 2023 Rugby World Cup including; New Zealand, South Africa, England, Australia and alongside host nation, France. The final place is to be decided by a Playoff Tournament hosted in November 2022. A full list can be found below.

The rugby world cup is being held in France next year and it will crown the best international rugby team in the world, four years after South Africa were crowned champions of the world. There will be 20 teams playing at the tournament, with all twenty listed below. 

Rugby World Cup 2023 – France
New ZealandA
South AfricaB
*Hong Kong, Kenya, Portugal, USAC
*Final Place to be decided by a playoff

Pool A- Rugby World Cup 2023 

New Zealand 

One of the best international teams in the world, New Zealand will be looking to rebound after some tough losses in the last few years, including losing in the Semi Final in the 2019 World Cup. Despite poor form, the All Blacks are still one of the favourites for the tournament. 


Three-time runners-up France will likely be the tournament favourites, as they are also hosting the World Cup. Having not made it past the quarter-finals in the last two tournaments, Frances’s star-studded team will be the favourite to hoist the trophy in front of their home fans. 


Kieran Crowley’s men have never made it past the group stage of the World Cup, despite winning two pool games in the last five tournaments. Coming off the back of a surprise win over Wales in 2022, Italy have some exciting youngsters who could make a name for themselves at the world cup. 


After finishing top of the Americas World Cup qualifications, Uruguay will feature in their fifth world cup, winning three games in those four tournaments so far. Currently ranked 18th in World Rugby rankings, Uruguay will be looking for another rare win over a tier 1 nation. 


 Having won the African cup, Namibia will feature in their seventh world cup in a row. They are the lowest ranked side in the competition. Namibia have a good rugby history, with four wins against tier 1 nations in the 1990s and one more in 2010. 

Pool B-Rugby World Cup 2023 

South Africa 

The reigning champions will be looking to become the most successful team in the competition’s history as they aim for their fourth title. Being able to physically dominate any team in the world, South Africa are a very difficult team to beat. They have so many superstars in the squad. 


Currently the number 1 ranked team in the world, Ireland produced their best-ever performance to win a test series in New Zealand for the first time in the team’s history. Despite this, the team has never made it past the quarter-finals. Ireland will be hoping that this is not another team peaking in between tournaments. 


Having made it to the quarter-finals in the last six tournaments, it is going to be a very difficult group stage for Scotland. Having finished fourth in 1991, Scotland will be hoping for a similar or even better result thanks to guys like Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg and Hamish Watson. 


Despite going to all but one World Cup, Tonga have never made it past the group stage. They are a team to watch out for in 2023 after World Rugby rule changes allowed them to pick former Australian and All-Black internationals like Israel Folau, Charles Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa. 


Having qualified to all the other World Cups, Romania were disqualified from the 2019 competition after Sione Faka’osilea had played for them in qualification, who had previously played for Tonga. They will be looking to bounce back after missing out last time. 

Pool C- Rugby World Cup 2023 


One of the oldest rugby nations in the world, Wales were number one in the world in 2019, but have now dropped to eighth after a test series loss in South Africa. Wales have made the semi-finals three times including in 2019 when they lost to eventual champions, South Africa. 


Two-time winners of the competition Australia find itself ranked seventh in the world and have struggled to compete with New Zealand over the last few years. Knocked out in the quarter-final in 2019, Australia will be looking for a better result in France in 2023. 


Having finished third in their RWC group in 2019, Fiji automatically qualified for this tournament. Known for the physicality of their play, Fiji has some of the most exciting players to watch in the world like Josua Tuisova, Levani Botia and Ben Volavola.


The European nation has dominated tier 2 rugby in Europe, winning the Rugby Europe Championship the last five tournaments. With the team’s best performance being a third-place finish in 2015, Georgia have won five games in World Cup history. 

Final Qualifier Winner 

The final place in Pool C is yet to be determined and will be one of; Hong Kong, Kenya, Portugal and the United States. They face off in a Qualification Tournament in Dubai during November 2022.

Pool D- Rugby World Cup 2023


The 2003 winners are hoping to bounce back after losing in the 2019 final to South Africa. They are one of the few teams who will likely be going into the tournament with the same coach as in 2019 in Eddie Jones. 


The 2019 World Cup hosts have continued to impress since their historic win over South Africa at the 2015 tournament. Japan will be looking to build on a first quarter-final appearance in 2019. 


Los Pumas have a knack for performing well at World Cups, reaching the semi-finals in 2007 and 2015. Their last performance was a disappointing pool stage exit. In 2023, they have a really good chance of making it to the quarter-finals, with Japan being the team’s main rival for a quarter-final spot. 


The highest ranked of the pacific island teams, Samoa have not made it out of the pool stages since 1995, losing to Japan, Ireland and Scotland at the last world cup. A talented team led by Leinster prop Michael Ala’alatoa and their talented guys could cause a few teams problems. 


The only team making its World Cup debut In 2023, Chile beat the United States by one point to advance to the tournament. It is an incredible achievement for Chile particularly when you look at the talent the United States has. Very exciting to see Chile for the first time.  

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