Rugby is a popular game, like online casino slot games, played in many parts of the world. Rugby players vie for a ball and score (try) by placing the ball down in a marked area. Rugby points can also be earned from scoring, i.e., kicking the ball between a goalpost. Rugby is often confused for American Football because they share similar origins and concepts.
While Rugby has been played for several centuries, the first Rugby world cup did not hold until May-June of 1987. New Zealand and Australia hosted the inaugural tournament with 16 teams in the competition. Since 1987, Rugby world cups have been played every four years.
We have had 9 Rugby world cups in total, and all these tournaments have delivered several iconic moments. Interestingly, these iconic moments have been witnessed by spectators across different stadiums.
This article will take you down memory lane to relive some Rugby world cup iconic moments in the stadiums where they were witnessed.
Rugby world cup stadiums and iconic moments
Here are rugby cup stadiums and iconic moments:
Eden Park (1987, 2011)
Located in Auckland, New Zealand, Eden Park hosted the first Rugby world cup game on May 22, 1987, to the delight of 20,000 attendees. One hundred twenty-two-year-old Eden Park is New Zealand’s most prominent sports stadium with a 50,000 standard sitting capacity and 60,000 temporary sitting capacity. This iconic stadium delivered the first rugby world cup to New Zealand on home soil in 1987 and in 2011 when they hosted the Rugby world cup again. Eden Park is the only stadium to have hosted two Rugby world cup finals.
Cardiff Arms Park (1991)
An iconic Rugby world cup moment was witnessed in the 1991 tournament jointly hosted by England, Wales, Ireland, and France. Wales on home soil experienced a defeat to debutants Western Samoa. The majority of the 45,000 attendees at the stadium witnessed a major Rugby world cup shock that erased the underdog notion in Rugby. Cardiff Arms Park currently has a capacity of 53,000 and hosts cricket games.
Ellis Park (1995)
Ellis Park hosted the finals in one of Rugby’s most iconic moments. Following the end of Apartheid, South Africa was allowed to compete by the International Rugby Football Board, and they earned hosting rights to the World cup. When South Africa won the Rugby world cup on home soil, President Nelson Mandela donned the Springboks Rugby Jersey before handing the trophy to captain Francois Piennar. Ellis Park is located in Johannesburg but is now known as the Emirates Airline Park. It hosts football and Rugby events and has a capacity of 62 567.
Millennium Stadium (1999)
Wales hosted the first Rugby world cup of the professional era in 1999 that featured 20 teams. The Millennium Stadium was also opened in 1999. It is significant as the first ground where a previous champion (Australia 1991) won the Rugby world cup again. The Millennium Stadium has a capacity of 73,931. It has also hosted FA Cup, League Cup, and UEFA Champions League matches.
Telstra Stadium (2003)
When Australia hosted the Rugby world cup in 2003, many believed they could win the tournament again on home soil. England eventually won the tournament for the first time. The final witnessed a record-breaking Rugby world cup attendance of 82,000. Telstra Stadium is located in Sydney, Australia. It has a capacity of over 84,000, making it one of the largest stadiums in the world.
Stade de France (2007)
South Africa won their second Rugby world cup title in Paris, France. The Stade De France is iconic for hosting the Rugby world cup final, where South Africa went unbeaten in the tournament. It has also hosted the FIFA world cup final in 2008. This iconic stadium has had iconic moments in Rugby and other sports as well.
Brighton Community Stadium (2015)
The Falmer or American Express Community Stadium delivered a Rugby world cup’s iconic moments when England hosted the tournament in 2015. Although New Zealand won the world cup back to back for the first time, Japan’s victory over South Africa at the pool stage remains a worthy iconic moment. It was an upset no one expected due to Japan’s rough rugby world cup history. Japan’s win over South Africa inspired the production of the movie “Brighton Miracle” in 2019. The game with 29,290 attendees was South Africa’s first loss to a tier-2 side and Japan’s first win over a former double world cup champion. The Brighton Community stadium is currently home to Premier League side, Brighton and Hove Albion, with a capacity of 31,800.
International Stadium Yokohama (2019)
Japan hosted the Rugby world cup’s first tournament in Asia. South Africa won a third world cup to equal New Zealand’s record. The 72,000 capacity Yokohama stadium, which had previously hosted the FIFA world cup final in 2002, and in the 2020 Olympics, remains one of Asia’s most iconic sports grounds.
Rugby is a popular sport cherished by people all over the world. Rugby’s iconic stadiums have contributed one way or the other to the glitz and glamour of the Rugby world cup. The 2023 World Cup, which will be hosted in France, promises more iconic moments for Rugby lovers. Hopefully, we will crown a new champion at the Stade de France.