New Zealand beats France in final to capture inaugural RWC title
Australia beats England in final
Japan notches first RWC win (beating Zimbabwe 52-8 )
South Africa beats N.Z. in final
South Africa allowed to participate for first time, following end of apartheid
N.Z. beats Japan 145-17 to record highest RWC score
RWC expanded to 20 teams
Australia beats France in final
England beats Australia in final to become first team from Northern Hemisphere to win RWC
South Africa beats England in final
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson becomes the only player to score points in two RWC finals
Japan chosen in 2009 to host the 2019 RWC, the first time the event will be in Asia
New Zealand beats France in final
New Zealand beats Australia in final
Japan becomes first team to not advance to the next round despite winning 3 matches in the group stage
Japan stages upset with a 34 -32 victory over South Africa
An international star bursts through
Jonah Lomu was rugby’s first global superstar. He played on the left wing for New Zealand. Wingers are usually small, but Lomu was 1.96 meters tall, weighed 120 kg — and ran at speed.
In the 1995 World Cup in South Africa, he became almost instantly famous, scoring seven tries. Four were against England in the semifinal, including the try of the tournament:Lomu picked up a bad, bouncing pass, and beat two defenders only to stumble close to the try line. But he was still moving forward, and ran over the top of a third defender to score. It showed Lomu at his best, using his strength to bounce off tacklers.
Sadly, Lomu later developed a rare kidney disease that spelled the end of his career. He died in 2015 at age 40, and his funeral was a day of mourning in New Zealand.
Lomu changed rugby, opening the door for other big, strong players to become wingers.
Nelson Mandela awards cup to South Africa
The 1995 World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand was decided in a tense, tryless match in Johannesburg. The Springboks won in extra time with a drop goal from 30 meters out.
But the match is remembered more for the award ceremony, when South African President Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springboks jersey, handed the cup to the South African captain, Francois Pienaar. The moment seemed to be a message of hope for unity between blacks and whites.
In South Africa, rugby is played and watched almost exclusively by whites. The team that won in 1995 had only one black player. But when Mandela lifted the cup, the crowd at Ellis Park roared with approval, shouting “Nelson! Nelson!”
It was a moving moment for a country that only years earlier still lived under the racist system of apartheid.
Japan upsets South Africa in 2015
When Japan met South Africa for a pool match in the last World Cup, few people gave the smaller Japan players much of a chance. But the September 2015 game was the biggest upset in world rugby.
Throughout the electrifying match at Brighton, England, the Japanese showed passion and persistence. South Africa led 12-10 at halftime, most people expected the two-time world champions to run away with it in the second half.
But Japan had other ideas. Fullback Ayumu Goromaru kept the Brave Blossoms in touch with the boot, and the Japanese tackled like demons.
In a game filled with stunning play and grit, it was fitting that it ended with a magic trick: With no more time on the clock, Japan threw the ball from player to player, finally scoring in the corner.
The 34-32 win was a message to the world: Japan rugby has arrived.