The 2023 Rugby World Cup is the tenth edition of the men’s Rugby World Cup, which is held every four years to determine the world champion in rugby union. This time, it will be hosted by France from 8 September to 28 October 2023. The tournament will be exclusively held in France and will feature matches in nine different venues across the country. The Stade de France, located in the north of Paris, will host both the opening game and the Final. This Rugby World Cup holds special significance as it coincides with the bicentenary of the sport’s “invention” by William Webb Ellis.
Originally scheduled to last six weeks, the tournament has been extended by an additional week to prioritize player welfare and allow for sufficient rest days. As a result, all teams will have a minimum of five days’ rest between matches. France previously hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and co-hosted the 1991 edition with England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. This upcoming event precedes the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris and will occur less than a year before the Olympics’ opening ceremony.
The reigning champions are South Africa, who emerged victorious in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final against England.
World Rugby requested interested members to submit their bids for hosting the 2023 event by June 2015. Six unions responded initially, including the Italian Rugby Federation, which later withdrew its bid in September 2016. The Argentine Rugby Union and USA Rugby expressed interest but decided not to submit formal bids. By the June 2017 deadline, three bids were officially submitted to World Rugby.
On 15 November 2017, the French Rugby Federation’s bid was selected over those of the South African Rugby Union and the Irish Rugby Football Union. France had launched its bid on 9 February 2017.
- Chile will make their debut appearance this year.
- this is the first time that Canada and the United States (since 1995) did not qualify for the RWC
- There are two South African match officials participating, Referee Jaco Peyper and TV Match Official (TMO) Marius Jonker.
A total of 20 teams will be competing in the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Twelve teams secured automatic qualification by finishing in the top three of their respective pools during the 2019 Rugby World Cup, including France as the host nation. The remaining eight spots were determined through regional competitions and cross-regional play-offs.
However, Spain’s qualification as Europe 2 was contested by Romania due to the alleged fielding of an ineligible player. After an investigation, it was discovered that the player had falsified his passport. As a result, Spain received a deduction of 10 points, leading to their exclusion from the tournament. Romania replaced them as Europe 2, while Portugal took Romania’s place in the repechage tournament.
On November 18, 2022, Portugal emerged as the winners of the repechage tournament, securing the final qualification spot for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. This edition marks several firsts: Canada did not qualify for the tournament for the first time, the United States missed out for the first time since 1995, and three teams from South America qualified. Notably, this will be the first Rugby World Cup without any participation from North America.
Here are the qualified teams as of April 20th, 2023:
- France (host)
- New Zealand
- South Africa
2023 Rugby World Cup Fixtures: