With the 2019 Rugby World Cup draw now only a week away, we have decided to take a look back at the seven best moments in Rugby World Cup history.
7. French Flair In 1987
With the scores level at 24 all between Australia and France in the first semi-final of the 1987 World Cup Les Bleus produced a moment of magic, passing the ball to at least eleven different players before the legendary French fullback Serge Blanco received the ball on the wing and ran it in.
6. Western Samoa Stun The Welsh At home (1991)
In one of the greatest upsets in Rugby World Cup history co-hosts Wales were beaten and thrown out of their own tournament by massive underdogs Western Samoa.
Clear favourites on the day, the Welsh were just unable to match the Samoans physically and eventually lost 13-16.
5. France Stun The All Blacks At Twickenham (1999)
With stars like Jonah Lomu and Andrew Mehrtens in their side, New Zealand were clear favourites in their semi-final clash against the French.
The All Blacks started well, and were well on their way to another World Cup final, leading 24-10 after 45 minutes. This was until two drop goals from Christophe Lamaison sparked the most remarkable comeback in World Cup history, with France eventually winning 43-31.
4. Jonah Lomu Single-Handedly Destroys England (1995)
Who could forget Lomu’s first try in the 1995 semi-final against England, when he beat two defenders, before bulldozing his way over English fullback Mike Catt.
Lomu was spectacular on the day, scoring four tries as the All Blacks ran out 45-29 victors.
3. Wilkinson Breaks Australian Hearts Down Under (2003)
With the scores level at 17-17 and the game seemingly heading towards sudden death, up stepped England’s mercurial fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, who calmly slotted a drop goal, to stun the home crowd and send the English fans into a state of delirium as they became world champions for the first time.
2. Brave Blossoms Create History Against The Springboks (2015)
In their first ever meeting at international level Japan overcame South Africa 34-32, to pull off the greatest upset in Rugby World Cup history. Under the leadership of now England coach Eddie Jones, the Brave Blossoms pulled off a tactical masterclass against one of the proudest rugby nations in the world.
Trailing 12-10 at half-time, the Japanese fought back brilliantly, trading blow for blow with the powerful South African side, before eventually running out 34-32 winners.
1. The Game That United A Nation (1995)
When South Africa took part in their first Rugby World Cup since readmission in 1992, not many fans were expecting what would happen next. An unremarkable South African side, buoyed by national pride, marched their way to the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.
Coming up against tournament favourites New Zealand, the Springboks defied the odds, and courtesy of a Joel Stransky drop goal, came out victorious in their first ever World Cup. What followed at the trophy presentation was truly the most remarkable moment in Rugby World Cup history (excuse the South African bias), as former South African president Nelson Mandela came out in a Springbok jersey with captain Francois Pienaar’s number 6 on his back.
Darren Holliday, Pundit Arena