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RWC 2023: Best unforgettable games in Rugby World Cup history

What makes a game impressive? Some would say an intense finish and others say a standout specific performance, while some prefer to see the loser come through and upset the favourite. The World Cup has produced games containing all of these, making for some truly notable encounters that will go down in history. With the RWC 2023 a few months away, what better time to look back on the historical competitions and remember some classic games?

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RWC 2023: Best unforgettable games in Rugby World Cup history
RWC 2023: Best unforgettable games in Rugby World Cup history
RWC 1995: New Zealand Vs Japan

We kick off this list with one of the two record one-sided affairs in the Rugby World Cup past. Rampant New Zealand took on the Japanese in a discrepancy if there was ever one.  New Zealand ran in 20 tries to mark up 145 points to Japan’s 17. Simon Culhane transformed every single one of these, scoring 40 points from alterations plus five for his one try.

His total of 45 points in a single game remains a World Cup record. Marc Ellis excellently ran in six tries but was later appraised by coach Laurie Mains for not looking to set up his wingers more. Perhaps not the neighbouring or most exciting game, but unforgettable nonetheless.

Rugby World Cup 1987: New Zealand vs France

Much has been made of New Zealand choking at RWCs. So much, so that it is often overlooked that they have indeed won a World Cup. New Zealand breezed into the 1987 final on the back of some dominant performances and was heavily favoured to beat France in the final. After an average first half which saw them lead 9-3 at the break, New Zealand came out and blew the French out of the park in the second half.

By scoring 20 points in a strong display. The French counted a try in the dying minutes, but New Zealand was never in danger of losing this game, running out winners 29-9. It was one time when New Zealand didn’t fail to deliver the goods, and it remains equally a good and bad remembrance for New Zealand admirers as the one time their team won the Rugby World Cup.

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1991 RWC Samoa vs Wales

At the time it was dubbed the greatest game in Samoan rugby history. Indeed, many still claim this. The island men were given little casual of falling one of rugby’s giants in their pool game at the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Samoa wasn’t even current at the previous World Cup. But Samoa had rather say about that. It was here that the world first saw the Samoans’ bodily defence, mixed with their flair out wide.

Halfback Matthew Vaega was important, scoring a try and kicking three goals, while the game also marked the emergence of the now-legendary Brian Lima. Future All-Black legend Frank Bunce made his test introduction and was powerful, while future Samoa captain Pat Lam also made his debut here. But it was as a side that they were able to topple the Welsh in the most improbable of wins. Twenty years later, 16-13 is still a score all Samoans are delighted of.

1991 Australia vs Ireland RWC game

Ireland arrived at this game as huge losers against a star-studded Wallaby outfit but came oh so close to pulling off the most unlikely of triumphs. Late in the second half, the Irish struggled by three points, before Irish flanker Gordon Hamilton broke away and counted a long-range try in the corner to give Ireland an 18-15 lead. The try is still regarded as one of Ireland’s best.

But it wasn’t to be, as Australia functioned their way downfield. After a David Campese run, Michael Lynagh moved down to score the winning try. Ireland was left heartbroken, but the game will forever go down as the biggest almost upset in the Rugby World Cup past. For more about knowing Rugby World Cup Tickets.

2007 Rugby World Cup France vs New Zealand

The 2007 New Zealand were owed as the toughest team ever sent to an RWC. They entered the competition as red-hot darlings and it was hard to see who was going to stop them. Sure enough, they plagued up some easy wins in pool play and entered their quarterfinal against France full of sureness. No one gave the French a gamble. What followed has become the major talking point of the rugby world over the past four years.

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After a solid first half, the All Blacks led 10-3 and looked as though they would safely progress to the Rugby World Cup Semi-final. But a yellow card to Luke McAlister saw the drive turn and the game became an even competition. Frederic Michalak entered the game as an impressive player, and what an influence he made. He would make a break that led to France’s second try of the game, which saw the French take the lead and run out winners, 20-18.

1987 RWC game between France and Australia

This time it was Australia who felt the anger of the French flair, as the pre-tournament picks were knocked out in what was the game of the competition. It was a close game all over, but with time almost up and the score at 24-all, it was going to take a special strength to clinch the game. France conquered territory in the dying minutes, but couldn’t pause the Wallaby defence and it seemed the game was heading for extra time.

With their last roll of the dice, the France Rugby World Cup team gave the ball to their star fullback, Serge Blanco, who made a run for the corner and was able to touch down to give France a 30-24 win, booking a room in the Rugby World Cup Final against New Zealand.

RWC 1995 New Zealand vs England

New Zealand entered their semi-final against England guessing a tough game. Brian Lochore can be mentioned as saying, they didn’t have a faintness anywhere in the park. No one told Jonah Lomu that. It was this game that saw Lomu fully pale his claim as rugby’s first global celebrity. His harmfulness was key in the New Zealand Rugby World Cup 45-29 win.

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Scoring a mind-boggling four tries in what finished up being the most fabulous individual RWC performance of all time. He was simply unstoppable that day. England mounted a comeback, but the game was already well and truly won for New Zealand.

Rugby World Cup 2003 England vs Australia

The final saw them come up against the host nation, Australia, which had upset New Zealand in the semi-final. The game was a tight one, with nothing unravelling the teams at full time, the score being protected at 17-all. This saw the game go to extra time when Wilkinson kicked one of the most outstanding dropped goals in rugby past to give England their first and only Rugby World Cup Final win.

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England Vs Japan: More games announced for Japan team for RWC 2023 training

Japan’s Brave Blossoms have added five home games to their timetable in the run-up to the France Rugby World Cup opening on Sept. 8. The Japan Rugby Football Union said Friday the men’s national side will face a New Zealand XV (New Zealand’s second team) one time on July 8 at Tokyo’s Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground and again a week later at Egao Kenko Ground in Kumamoto.

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The Japan rugby, prepared by former New Zealand Jamie Joseph, will then take on Samoa on July 22 at Sapporo Dome, Tonga on July 29 at Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Osaka, and Fiji on Aug. 5 at a site to be decided. The validation of these five home matches is hugely exciting for both the team and our admirers in Japan, Joseph said according to the JRFU website. They will form a massive part of our preparations ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Providing four varied and challenging enemies, that along with Italy will give us a level of opposition closely equivalent to the intensity and quality we will face in France. Samoa is gathered with Japan in RWC 2023 Pool D. Japan will start its full-fledged World Cup arrangements in June after the National League One season ends. The site is also arranged to play an away test against Italy on Aug. 26.

Rugby heads to hold draw nearer to Rugby World Cup after 2023 top arguments

There has never been so much effort over a two-year age. Bearing that in mind, and noticing the set-up of four pools of five sides, there is debatably no perfect time for a draw. World Rugby bosses are set to delay the draw for future RWCs after the sport’s top five countries were pooled in the same half of this year’s competition.

Only two of Ireland’s hosts France, and New Zealand, holders South Africa and Scotland can reach the Rugby World Cup Semi-finals. Rugby fans can buy Japan Rugby World Cup Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.

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Due to a draw made in 2020 based on seeding as they were after the previous World Cup. Paul Grayson, who won the 2003 competition with England, stated rugby had made itself a laughing stock with its out-of-date draw and said it must not be permissible to happen again. In reply, the sport’s leading body definite its purpose for the draw to be held closer to future Rugby World Cups, starting with Australia 2027.

World Rugby said it is clever to make the change because of a new ‘hosting model’ that sees the global alliance create collaborations with the host union. Defending the 2020 draw for France 2023, WR said it was made for several vital reasons vital to the overall success of the competition both on and off the field.  The top of the men’s Test game has never been better, the spokesperson added. There has never been so much movement over two years.

Marcus Smith dropped from the England rugby squad before France Rugby World Cup 2023

Steve Borthwick has titled a 26-player England squad for a three-day preparation camp in Brighton. Max Malins (ankle) is inaccessible to train this week due to an injury.  Malins will join up with the group this week for rehab work. Gloucester winger Jonny May has been called up to the group, while Manu Tuilagi will also prepare with the team this week. England will next deal with France at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 11 March.

Borthwick said, this week we move our preparation camp to Brighton, as we meet up again after last weekend’s win in Cardiff. The act against Wales was fair in several significant respects.  It was good to see the hard work the team put in on the training field imitated in a deserved and hard-won victory. Condensed fallow week squad numbers, injuries and our wish for some performers to have respected game time minutes with their clubs.

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This means that the group gathered in Brighton has a slightly changed feel to it.  We are very satisfied to welcome back Jonny May. The players and trainers alike are looking forward to another three days of attentive training, before the full group meets back up back at Penny Hill Park on Sunday, in expectation of our continued measures for the rest of what is proving to be a superb Six Nations competition.

Several England U20s players will also take part in a preparation session this week

One player let go from the group is Marcus Smith. The fly-half made a cameo entrance in England’s win over Wales, playing less than a minute in Cardiff. Borthwick has chosen to play Owen Farrell in the number 10 jersey, with Smith on the seat for the two latest Six Nations wins against Italy and Wales. Smith and Farrell were both on the go in the Calcutta Cup defeat to Scotland, in the initial round of the competition.

Borthwick’s presence of Ford adds another question as to who his starting fly-half will be. Ford and Farrell have had previous achievements in 10 and 12 partnerships, with the Saracen slotting in at the inside centre. Marcus Smith of England during the Autumn Global Series match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham, London on 19 November 2022. Rugby fans can buy England Rugby World Cup Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.

Steve Borthwick is surely aware of Ford’s qualities, as the former Leicester player took the Tigers to win the 2021/22 Premiership title, with Borthwick as Head Trainer. This duo took England to the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final and won the 2020 Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup. Harlequins take on Exeter Leaders this Saturday, in a dual header at the home of English rugby.

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England vs Japan RWC 2023

On Sunday 17th September 2023, England faces Japan at Stade de Nice, Nice. England’s second pool game at Rugby World Cup 2023 will be against Japan at the Stade de Nice on Sunday 17th September. England and Japan have only met once before at the World Cup; during the pool phases of the inaugural edition of the competition in 1987.

England won that game by 60-7 in Sydney. In their two other gatherings outside of a World Cup, England safeguarded 35-15 and 52-13 triumphs over the Brave Blossoms during the 2018 and 2022 autumn rugby match respectively.

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