Rugby union is a contact team sport between two teams of 15 players each. The sport is played with an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts.
Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, play by male and female players of all ages. The sport originated in England in the 19th century. World Rugby is the governing body for rugby union, and currently has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members. There are an estimated 6 million rugby union players worldwide.
Despite its worldwide popularity, rugby is not included in the Summer Olympics. Rugby was played in the 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924, and 2016 Olympics.
Since the World Rugby Cup started in 1987, four teams have won the title. New Zealand has won three times, Australia and South Africa have both won twice, and England has won once.
The 2019 World Rugby Cup will be held at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, Japan and will run from September 20th to November 2nd. The final match will take place at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Twenty teams will participate and compete for the title. New Zealand is the current defending champion, having defeated Australia in the finals of the 2015 World Rugby Cup.
After the 2019 World Rugby Cup, the next country to host the tournament will be France in 2023. Including the 2023 tournament, France will have hosted the World Rugby Cup three times, more than any other country.
Below is a list of the host countries for each year of the World Rugby Cup since 1987.