Rugby World Cup 1987

The debut Rugby World Cup was staged by both New Zealand and Australia in 1987, and was won by New Zealand. Seven of the 16 positions were automatically filled by the International Rugby Football Board members – New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France – with South Africa unable to take part due to the world sports boycott due to apartheid. There was no qualification process to fill the remaining nine positions. Instead invitations were sent out to Argentina, Fiji, Italy, Canada, Romania, Tonga, Japan, Zimbabwe and the United States.

On the whole the competition witnessed fairly one-sided encounters, the seven IRFB members proving too tough for the other sides. Half of the 24 encounters across the four groups saw one side score 40 or more points. It is therefore no surprise that five of the seven highest-scoring Rugby World Cup encounters were witnessed during this competition, a fact that is mentioned in the ‘most points by an individual’ and ‘most tries by a side’ statistics. New Zealand won the final against the French at Eden Park in Auckland by 29 points to 9. The New Zealand side was captained by David Kirk, replacing for an injured Andy Dalton, and included such rugby legends as; Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, Grant Fox and Michael Jones.







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