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2011 Rugby World Cup

The 2011 Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand. New Zealand was awarded the 2011 World Cup ahead of Japan - the announcement made in late 2005. New Zealand had hosted the event once before, the first World Cup in 1987, when it co-hosted with Australia. In that event they won, as they did again in 2011.

Participating Countries

There were 20 teams participating, allocated into four pools of five teams in each.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
New Zealand
South Africa
2011 New Zealand Rugby World Cup ball2011 New Zealand Rugby World Cup ball

Tournament Format

The pool phase consists of a round robin, with each team playing each other once. The top two ranked teams after the pool phase make it through to the quarter-finals. This is the start of the knock out phase.

QF 1 - Winner pool C v Runner up pool D
QF 2 - Winner pool B v Runner up pool A
QF 3 - Winner pool D v Runner up pool C
QF 4 - Winner pool A v Runner up pool B

The winners of the quarter-final matches qualify for the semi-finals.

SF 1 - Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
SF 2 - Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

The winners of the semi-final matches play off in the Final, the losers of the semi-final matches contest the Bronze medal playoff.


The final was won by New Zealand over France, in a repeat clash of the final of the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.

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Rugby World Cup Extra

The next men's Rugby World Cup will be played in France in 2023. See the list of winners, and more firsts and other trivia, and also information about each country at the World Cup. There is also a Women's World Cup.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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