2003 Rugby World Cup

2003 Rugby World Cup
Tournament details
Host nation  Australia
Dates 10 October – 22 November
No. of nations 20 (80 qualifying)
Final positions
Champions   England
Runner-up   Australia
Third-place   New Zealand
Tournament statistics
Matches played 48
Attendance 1,837,547 (38,282 per match)
Top scorer(s) England Jonny Wilkinson (113)
Most tries New Zealand Doug Howlett
New Zealand Mils Muliaina
(7 tries each)
England 2003 World Cup winners

The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Originally planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Union and Rugby World Cup Limited. The pre-event favourites were England, regarded by many at the time as the best team in the world after victories both home and away over New Zealand and Australia, a 50-point hammering of South Africa at Twickenham, and the grand slam in the 2003 Six Nations Championship. New Zealand, France, South Africa and defending champions Australia were also expected to make strong showings, with New Zealand being second favourites after victory in the southern-hemisphere Tri-Nations championship.

The tournament began with host nation Australia defeating Argentina 24–8 at Telstra Stadium in Sydney. Australia went on to defeat New Zealand 22–10 in the semifinal, to play England in the final. Along with a try to Jason Robinson, Jonny Wilkinson kicked four penalties and then a drop-goal in extra time to win the game 20–17 for England, who became the first northern hemisphere team to win the Webb Ellis Cup and become world champions for the first time.


The following 20 teams, shown by region, qualified for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Of the 20 teams, eight of those places were automatically filled by the teams that reached the quarter-final stages in 1999, including hosts and world champions Australia and did not have to play any qualification matches. A record 81 nations from five continents were involved in the qualification process designed to fill the remaining 12 spots, which began on 23 September 2000.

Africa Americas Europe Oceania/Asia


Australia won the right to host the 2003 World Cup without the involvement of New Zealand after a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Rugby World Cup Limited.[1] Australia and New Zealand had been expected to co-host — with New Zealand expected to host 23 of the 48 matches — but New Zealand's insistence on amending the provisions relating to stadium advertising was unacceptable to the IRB.[2]


The overall stadium capacity was 421,311 across 11 venues. This was a reduction from the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales (with games also held in England, France, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland) which had a total capacity of 654,677 across 18 venues.

The Adelaide Oval underwent a A$20 million redevelopment for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, financed entirely by the South Australian Cricket Association, with two new grandstands built adjacent to the Victor Richardson Gates. Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane (formerly Lang Park) was a new A$280 million venue designed specifically for rugby league, rugby union and soccer, and was opened just prior to the start of the 2003 World Cup. The Central Coast Stadium was also a newly built rectangular venue built for union, league and soccer. It was built on the site of the old Grahame Park ground and was opened in February 2000 at a cost of A$30 million.

The Sydney Football Stadium was one of two venues in Sydney that were used for football during the 2000 Olympic Games. The other venue in Sydney was Stadium Australia, which was the centrepiece of the 2000 Olympic Games. By 2003 Stadium Australia was known as Telstra Stadium. It was built as the main stadium of the 2000 Olympics at a cost of A$690 million and with a capacity of 83,500 was the biggest stadium used in the 2003 World Cup (the stadium had an original capacity of 110,000 before undergoing redevelopment from 2001-2003). The only stadium with a retractable roof used was the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne. Although the Docklands Stadium has Movable seating which brings four sections of the lower bowl forward by 18 metres to create a more rectangular surround for the pitch, this was not used during the World Cup as it reduces the seating capacity of the stadium by approximately 3,500.

Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Perth
Stadium Australia Sydney Football Stadium Docklands Stadium Lang Park Subiaco Oval
Capacity: 83,500 Capacity: 42,500 Capacity: 56,347 Capacity: 52,500 Capacity: 42,922
Highest Attendance: 82,957 (Final) Highest Attendance: 37,137 Highest Attendance: 54,206 Highest Attendance: 48,778 Highest Attendance: 38,834
Adelaide Oval
Capacity: 33,597
Highest Attendance: 30,203
Townsville Canberra Gosford Launceston Wollongong
Willows Sports Complex Canberra Stadium Central Coast Stadium York Park Wollongong Showground
Capacity: 26,500 Capacity: 25,011 Capacity: 20,059 Capacity: 19,891 Capacity: 18,484
Highest Attendance: 21,309 Highest Attendance: 22,641 Highest Attendance: 19,653 Highest Attendance: 15,457 Highest Attendance: 17,833



Pools and format

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D


 United States

 South Africa

 New Zealand

Following the complex format used in the 1999 Rugby World Cup a new simpler format was introduced and the twenty teams were divided into four pools of five nations, with the top two in each pool moving on to the knock-out quarter-final stage. With forty matches to be played in the pool stage on top of the knock-out matches would make the event the largest Rugby World Cup tournament to be played to date. For the first time, a bonus point system was implemented in pool play. This system is identical to that long used in Southern Hemisphere tournaments, and was soon adopted in most European competitions (though not in the Six Nations):

A total of 48 matches (40 pool stage and eight knock-out) were played throughout the tournament over 42 days from 10 October to 22 November 2003.


Pool Stage

The opening game at Telstra Stadium between Australia and Argentina

The ARU's main promotion for the event was "Show Your True Colours". The Australian media criticised the competition early in the tournament as the smaller nations were crushed by the rugby superpowers by 60 points or more. However, some of these smaller, third tier nations, such as Japan, acquitted themselves well in their opening matches. The South Pacific island countries of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa were reported as being handicapped as several of their key players who play abroad being warned by their clubs that their contracts would not be renewed if they played in the competition.

In the event, the pool stage of the competition played out largely as expected, with some tension as to whether some of the "developing" nations would overtake some of the weaker major countries for the second quarter-final qualification place in each pool – in pool A, Argentina lost to Ireland by only one point, which would otherwise have carried them into the quarter-finals in Ireland's place; similarly in pool B Fiji lost to Scotland by only two points, while Italy put up a good performance in pool D. In pool C, Samoa gave England a fright with an adventurous approach that allowed them to take an early lead, however, England's superior fitness saw them through. This match was marked by controversy, as England fielded 16 players at one point during the game, coinciding with a last-gasp try-saving tackle, which may have won the game for the Samoans.[3]

The big clashes ran mainly to form. A disappointing South Africa limped through the pool, eventually capitulating to England to relegate them to a difficult quarter final against New Zealand. Australia however only beat Ireland by one point to top their pool, whilst Wales pushed the All Blacks to the wire, after adopting an outgoing style of play with a fringe selection. France beat Scotland to round out the quarter-finals.

Knock-out stage

The quarter-final stage produced the widely predicted set of semi-finalists, although England again made heavy weather of defeating a resurgent Wales. England were widely rated the world's best team, but they struggled, at least in the first half, against a Welsh side full of belief after their game against New Zealand: although England pulled away in the second half after the tactical substitution of Catt for Tindall, a late Welsh try gave the scoreline the respectability that their first-half performance had deserved. France destroyed an Irish side who had gone into the match hopeful of a win, scoring 31 early points to put the game out of reach. In the other quarter-finals, a disappointing South Africa fell to New Zealand and Australia defeated the Scots.

The first semi-final produced an upset, when Australia defeated the fancied New Zealand to become the first defending champions to reach the following championship final. Unfortunately, it was probably the last match for Australian star Ben Darwin, who injured his neck in a scrum. Although Darwin never played rugby again, the actions of Kees Meeuws – who immediately stopped exerting pressure when he heard the call "neck neck neck" – may well have saved his opponent's life and certainly prevented further injury. The match was decided by a Stirling Mortlock interception try, after a loose pass from highly rated All Blacks fly-half Carlos Spencer. George Gregan taunted his opponents in defeat with the comment, "Four more years boys, four more years".[4][5]

The second semi-final saw France face England. The boot of Jonny Wilkinson was the difference between the two sides, with England coming out victors in torrential rain: although France scored the game's only try after an early English line-out error, they never seriously threatened the English line otherwise. And with handling being difficult in the wet and windy conditions, England's superior forward pressure and territorial control forced France to concede a slew of penalties, of which Wilkinson kicked five, also adding three drop goals (two off his less-favoured right boot) - a remarkable display considering that the swirling winds made accurate kicking as difficult as the rain and mud made passing and running.


The final between Australia and England was played at Sydney's Telstra Stadium in front of a crowd of 82,957. Australia opened the scoring after they decided to run a penalty instead of kicking for touch. Lote Tuqiri beat England's right wing, Jason Robinson, to a high cross-field kick and went over for the first try, but Elton Flatley was not able to add the conversion.

Celebrations in Trafalgar Square

The rest of the half was a tight affair, with England edging in front from applying pressure and Jonny Wilkinson's boot put them up to a 9–5 lead after Australian indiscipline gave away several penalties, but were unable to capitalise on their territory. Towards the end of the first half, England stretched their lead further. Lawrence Dallaglio made a break and popped the ball inside to Jonny Wilkinson, who drew the defence before putting Robinson away in the corner for a try. The conversion was missed, but England went in at half time leading by 14–5.

In the second half Australia tightened their discipline, and solid play forced mistakes from England. The game swung from end to end, with both sides having try-scoring opportunities, but neither able to take them. Australia managed to get points on the board and Elton Flatley scored two penalties to make the score 14–11 to England. In the 79th minute, Australia were putting pressure on England in their half, and Australia were awarded a penalty right before full-time, with the potential to tie the scores. Flatley converted it to make the score 14–14 and take the game into an additional 20 minutes' extra time.

England opened the scoring in extra time with another Wilkinson penalty, but with two and a half minutes of extra time remaining Australia were awarded another penalty, which Flatley kicked successfully. With 20 seconds left before sudden death, Wilkinson scored a drop goal to win the match and with it the world championship.


Three days after the final, the new World Champion England team landed at Heathrow Airport in the early hours of the morning, emerging from their plane to a huge reception, despite the time.[6] On 8 December, a national day of celebration took place in the form of a massive victory parade in the streets of London.[7]

Pool stage

Qualified for the quarter-finals

Pool A

Team Pld W D L PF PA BP Pts
 Australia 440027332218
 Ireland 430114156315
 Argentina 420214057311
 Romania 41036519215
 Namibia 40042831000
10 October 2003
Australia  24–8  Argentina
Try: Sailor 20'
Roff 74'
Con: Flatley
Pen: Flatley (4)
Try: Corleto 72'
Pen: M. Contepomi
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 81,350
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

11 October 2003
Ireland  45–17  Romania
Try: S. Horgan
Hickie (2)
Con: Humphreys (3)
Pen: Humphreys (4)
Try: Penalty try
Con: Tofan
Pen: Tofan

14 October 2003
Argentina  67–14  Namibia
Try: Méndez, Bouza (2), J. Fernández Miranda, Penalty try (2), Gaitán (3), N. Fernández Miranda
Con: Quesada (7)
Pen: Quesada
Try: Grobler, Husselman
Con: Wessels (2)
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Attendance: 17,887
Referee: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

18 October 2003
Australia  90–8  Romania
Try: Flatley, Rogers (3), Burke (2), Larkham (2), Mortlock, Roff, Giteau, Tuqiri, Smith
Con: Flatley (11)
Pen: Flatley
Try: Toderasc
Pen: Tofan
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 48,778
Referee: Pablo De Luca (Argentina)

19 October 2003
Ireland  64–7  Namibia
Try: Quinlan (2), Dempsey, Hickie, Horan, Miller (2), G. Easterby, S. Horgan, Kelly
Con: O'Gara (7)
Try: Powell
Con: Wessels
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 35,382
Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)

22 October 2003
Argentina  50–3  Romania
Try: Gaitán, Hernández (2), M. Contepomi, N. Fernández Miranda, Bouza (2)
Con: J. Fernández Miranda (4), Quesada (2)
Pen: J. Fernández Miranda
Pen: Ionut Tofan
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 33,673
Referee: Chris White (England)

25 October 2003
Australia  142–0  Namibia
Try: Latham (5), Lyons, Mortlock, Tuqiri (3), Penalty try, Rogers (2), Paul, Giteau (3), Grey, Turinui (2), Burke, Roe
Con: Rogers (16)
Adelaide Oval
Attendance: 28,196
Referee: Joël Jutge (France)

This remains the biggest winning margin in Rugby World Cup history.

26 October 2003
Argentina  15–16  Ireland
Pen: Quesada (3)
Drop: Quesada, Corleto
Try: Quinlan
Con: Humphreys
Pen: Humphreys, O'Gara (2)
Adelaide Oval
Attendance: 30,203
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

30 October 2003
Namibia  7–37  Romania
Try: Isaacs
Con: Wessels
Try: Petrichei, Sirbu, Chiriac, Teodorescu, Sauan
Con: Tofan (3)
Pen: Tofan (2)
York Park, Launceston
Attendance: 15,457
Referee: Peter Marshall (Australia)

1 November 2003
Australia  17–16  Ireland
Try: Smith
Pen: Flatley (3)
Drop: Gregan
Try: O'Driscoll
Con: O'Gara
Pen: O'Gara (2)
Drop: O'Driscoll
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 54,206
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

Pool B

Team Pld W D L PF PA BP Pts
 France 440020470420
 Scotland 430110297214
 Fiji 420298114210
 United States 41038612526
 Japan 40047916300
11 October 2003
France  61–18  Fiji
Tries: Dominici (2), Harinordoquy, Jauzion (3), Ibañez
Con: Michalak (4)
Pen: Michalak (6)
Tries: Naevo, Caucaunibuca
Con: Little
Pen: Little (2)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 46,795
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

12 October 2003
Scotland  32–11  Japan
Tries: Paterson (2), Grimes, Taylor, Danielli
Con: Paterson, Townsend
Pen: Paterson
Tries: Onozawa
Pen: Hirose (2)

15 October 2003
Fiji  19–18  United States
Tries: Naevo
Con: Little
Pen: Little (4)
Tries: van Zyl, Schubert
Con: Hercus
Pen: Hercus (2)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 30,990
Referee: Joël Jutge (France)

18 October 2003
France  51–29  Japan
Tries: Michalak, Rougerie (2), Pelous, Dominici, Crenca
Con: Michalak (5), Merceron
Pen: Michalak (3)
Tries: Konia, Ohata
Con: Kurihara (2)
Pen: Kurihara (5)
Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Attendance: 21,309
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

20 October 2003
Scotland  39–15  United States
Tries: Danielli (2), Kerr, Townsend, Paterson
Con: Paterson (4)
Pen: Paterson (2)
Pen: Hercus (5)

23 October 2003
Fiji  41–13  Japan
Tries: Tuilevu (2), Ligairi (2), Vunibaka
Con: Little (2)
Pen: Little (4)
Tries: Miller
Con: Miller
Pen: Miller
Drop: Miller
Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Attendance: 17,269
Referee: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

Andy Miller's drop goal, at 52 metres, remains the longest in Rugby World Cup history.

25 October 2003
France  51–9  Scotland
Tries: Betsen, Harinordoquy, Michalak, Galthié, Brusque
Con: Michalak (3), Merceron
Pen: Michalak (4)
Drop: Michalak, Brusque
Pen: Paterson (3)
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 78,974
Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)

27 October 2003
Japan  26–39  United States
Tries: Kurihara, Ohata
Con: Kurihara (2)
Pen: Kurihara (4)
Tries: Hercus, Eloff, Schubert, van Zyl, Khasigian
Con: Hercus (4)
Pen: Hercus (2)

31 October 2003
France  41–14  United States
Tries: Liebenberg (3), Poux, Bru
Con: Merceron (2)
Pen: Merceron (3)
Drop: Yachvili
Tries: Hercus, Schubert
Con: Hercus (2)
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Attendance: 17,833
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

1 November 2003
Scotland  22–20  Fiji
Tries: Smith
Con: Paterson
Pen: Paterson (5)
Tries: Caucaunibuca (2)
Con: Little (2)
Pen: Little (2)
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 37,137
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

Pool C

South Africa vs Georgia, 24 October 2003
Team Pld W D L PF PA BP Pts
 England 440025547319
 South Africa 430118460315
 Samoa 4202138117210
 Uruguay 41035625504
 Georgia 40044620000
11 October 2003
South Africa  72–6  Uruguay
Tries: van der Westhuizen (3), van Niekerk, Botha (2), Delport, Fourie, Bands, Rossouw, Scholtz, Greef
Con: Koen (5), Hougaard
Pen: Aguirre (2)
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 16,906
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

12 October 2003
England  84–6  Georgia
Tries: Tindall, Dawson, Thompson, Back, Dallaglio, Greenwood (2), Regan, Cohen (2), Robinson, Luger
Con: Wilkinson (5), Grayson (4)
Pen: Wilkinson (2)
Pen: Urjukashvili, Jimsheladze
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 25,501
Referee: Pablo De Luca (Argentina)

15 October 2003
Samoa  60–13  Uruguay
Tries: Fa'asavalu (2), Lima (2), Tagicakibau, Fa'atau, Lemalu, Vili, Feaunati, Palepoi
Con: Va'a (3), Vili (2)
Tries: Capó, Lemoine
Pen: Aguirre
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 22,020
Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)

18 October 2003
South Africa  6–25  England
Pen: Koen (2) Tries: Greenwood
Con: Wilkinson
Pen: Wilkinson (4)
Drop: Wilkinson (2)
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 38,834
Referee: Peter Marshall (Australia)

19 October 2003
Georgia  9–46  Samoa
Pen: Jimsheladze (2)
Drop: Jimsheladze
Tries: Tagicakibau, Vaa'a, Sititi, So'oialo, Feaunati, Lima
Con: Va'a (5)
Pen: Va'a (2)
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Attendance: 21,507
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

24 October 2003
South Africa  46–19  Georgia
Tries: Rossouw (2), Hougaard, van Niekerk, Fourie, Botha, Burger
Con: Hougaard (4)
Pen: Hougaard
Tries: Dadunashvili
Con: Jimsheladze
Pen: Jimsheladze (3), Kvirikashvili
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 34,308
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

26 October 2003
England  35–22  Samoa
Tries: Back, Penalty try, Balshaw, Vickery
Con: Wilkinson (3)
Pen: Wilkinson (2)
Drop: Wilkinson
Tries: Sititi
Con: Va'a
Pen: Va'a (5)
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 50,647
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

28 October 2003
Georgia  12–24  Uruguay
Pen: Urjukashvili, Kvirikashvili (3) Tries: Cardoso, Lamelas, Brignoni
Con: Aguirre (2), Menchaca
Pen: Menchaca
Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 28,576
Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)

1 November 2003
South Africa  60–10  Samoa
Tries: van Niekerk, Muller, Hougaard, Smith, Willemse, Fourie, van der Westhuyzen, de Kock
Con: Hougaard (5), Koen (2)
Pen: Hougaard
Drop: Hougaard
Tries: Palepoi
Con: Va'a
Pen: Va'a
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 48,496
Referee: Chris White (England)

2 November 2003
England  111–13  Uruguay
Tries: Moody, Lewsey (5), Balshaw (2), Catt (2), Gomarsall (2), Luger, Abbott, Robinson (2), Greenwood
Con: Grayson (11), Catt (2)
Tries: Lemoine
Con: Menchaca
Pen: Menchaca (2)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 46,233
Referee: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

Pool D

Team Pld W D L PF PA BP Pts
 New Zealand 440028257420
 Wales 430113298214
 Italy 42027712308
 Canada 41035413515
 Tonga 40044617811
11 October 2003
New Zealand  70–7  Italy
Tries: B. Thorn, R. Thorne, Howlett (2), Spencer (2), Rokocoko (2), Marshall, Carter, MacDonald
Con: Carter (6)
Pen: Spencer
Tries: Phillips
Con: Peens
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 41,715
Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)

12 October 2003
Wales  41–10  Canada
Tries: Parker, Cooper, M. Jones, Charvis, Thomas
Con: Harris (5)
Pen: Harris (2)
Tries: Tkachuk
Con: Pritchard
Drop: Ross
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 24,874
Referee: Chris White (England)

15 October 2003
Italy  36–12  Tonga
Tries: M. Dallan, D. Dallan (2)
Con: Wakarua (3)
Pen: Wakarua (5)
Tries: Payne, Tu'ifua
Con: Tu'ipulotu
Canberra Stadium
Attendance: 18,967
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

17 October 2003
New Zealand  68–6  Canada
Tries: Ralph (2), So'oialo (2), Muliaina (4), Meeuws, Nonu
Con: Carter (9)
Pen: Barker (2)
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 38,899
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

19 October 2003
Wales  27–20  Tonga
Tries: Cooper, M. Williams
Con: S. Jones
Pen: S. Jones (4)
Drop: M. Williams
Tries: Hola, Kivalu, Lavaka
Con: Hola
Pen: Hola
Canberra Stadium
Attendance: 19,806
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

21 October 2003
Italy  19–14  Canada
Tries: Parisse
Con: Wakarua
Pen: Wakarua (4)
Tries: Fyffe
Pen: Barker (3)
Canberra Stadium
Attendance: 20,515
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

24 October 2003
New Zealand  91–7  Tonga
Tries: Braid, Carter, Flynn, Ralph (2), Spencer, Meeuws, Penalty try, Muliaina (2), MacDonald, Howlett (2)
Con: MacDonald (12), Spencer
Tries: Hola
Con: Tu'ipulotu
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 47,588
Referee: Pablo De Luca (Argentina)

25 October 2003
Italy  15-27  Wales
Pen: Wakarua (5) Tries: M. Jones, Parker, D. Jones
Con: Harris (3)
Pen: Harris (2)
Canberra Stadium
Attendance: 22,641
Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)

29 October 2003
Canada  24–7  Tonga
Tries: Fauth, Abrams
Con: Pritchard
Pen: Ross (4)
Tries: Kivalu
Con: Hola
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Attendance: 15,630
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

2 November 2003
New Zealand  53–37  Wales
Tries: Rokocoko (2), MacDonald, Williams, Howlett (2), Spencer, Mauger
Con: MacDonald (5)
Pen: MacDonald
Tries: Taylor, Parker, Charvis, S. Williams
Con: S. Jones (4)
Pen: S. Jones (3)
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 80,012
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

Knockout stage

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
8 November – Melbourne        
  New Zealand  29
15 November – Sydney (Telstra)
  South Africa  9  
  New Zealand  10
8 November – Brisbane
    Australia  22  
  Australia  33
22 November – Sydney (Telstra)
  Scotland  16  
  Australia  17
9 November – Melbourne
    England  20
  France  43
16 November – Sydney (Telstra)
  Ireland  21  
  France  7 Third place
9 November – Brisbane
    England  24  
  England  28   New Zealand  40
  Wales  17     France  13
20 November – Sydney (Telstra)


8 November 2003
New Zealand  29–9  South Africa
Try: MacDonald 16' c
Mealamu 59' m
Rokocoko 72' m
Con: MacDonald
Pen: MacDonald (3)
Drop: Mauger 45'
Pen: Hougaard (3)
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 40,734
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

8 November 2003
Australia  33–16  Scotland
Try: Mortlock 46' c
Gregan 59' c
Lyons 64' c
Con: Flatley (3)
Pen: Flatley (4)
Try: Russell 80' c
Con: Paterson
Pen: Paterson (2)
Drop: Paterson 38'
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 45,412
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

9 November 2003
France  43–21  Ireland
Try: Magne 3' c
Dominici 29' c
Harinordoquy 33' c
Crenca 47' c
Con: Michalak (4)
Pen: Michalak (5)
Try: Maggs 52' c
O'Driscoll (2) 65' c, 80+2' c
Con: Humphreys (3)
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 33,134
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

9 November 2003
England  28–17  Wales
Try: Greenwood 44' c
Con: Wilkinson
Pen: Wilkinson (6)
Drop: Wilkinson 80+1'
Try: S. Jones 30' m
Charvis 35' m
M. Williams 71' c
Con: Harris
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 45,252
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)


15 November 2003
New Zealand  10–22  Australia
Try: Thorne 35' c
Con: MacDonald
Pen: MacDonald
Try: Mortlock 9' c
Con: Flatley
Pen: Flatley (5)
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 82,444
Referee: Chris White (England)

16 November 2003
France  7–24  England
Try: Betsen 10' c
Con: Michalak
Pen: Wilkinson (5)
Drop: Wilkinson (3) 9', 38', 58'
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 82,346
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

Third-place play-off

20 November 2003
New Zealand  40–13  France
Try: Jack 12' c
Howlett 20' c
Rokocoko 51' c
Thorn 54' c
Muliaina 58' c
Holah 72' m
Con: MacDonald
Carter (4)
Try: Elhorga 42' c
Con: Yachvili
Pen: Yachvili
Drop: Yachvili
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 62,712
Referee: Chris White (England)


22 November 2003
Australia  17–20 (a.e.t.)  England
Try: Tuqiri 6' m
Pen: Flatley (4)
Report Try: Robinson 38' m
Pen: Wilkinson (4)
Drop: Wilkinson 100'
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 82,957
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)



Team statistics
Team Played Won Drawn Lost Points difference Tries Conversions Penalties Drop goals Yellow cards Red cards
 England 7700239362723810
 Australia 7601267433221110
 New Zealand 760126052406110
 France 7502112292222450
 South Africa 530210427177110
 Ireland 53026320169110
 Wales 530223171411120
 Scotland 5302−1212813110
 Argentina 42028318136210
 Fiji 4202−1610612030
 Samoa 42022118128010
 Italy 4202−465514020
 United States 4103−39979010
 Canada 4103−81429110
 Romania 4103−127855010
 Uruguay 4103−199646000
 Japan 4004−846512100
 Tonga 4004−132741040
 Georgia 4004−1541112120
 Namibia 4004−282440010

Top point scorers

Top ten point scorers
Player Team Position Played Tries Conversions Penalties Drop goals Total points Yellow cards Red cards
Jonny Wilkinson  EnglandFly-half601023811300
Frédéric Michalak  FranceFly-half621718110100
Elton Flatley  AustraliaCentre611621010000
Leon MacDonald  New ZealandCentre7420507500
Chris Paterson  ScotlandFly-half5371317100
Mat Rogers  AustraliaFull-back7516005710
Mike Hercus  United StatesFly-half427905100
Rima Wakarua  ItalyFly-half3041405000
Earl Va'a  SamoaFly-half4110804900
Dan Carter  New ZealandFly-half5219004800

Top try scorers

Top ten try scorers
Player Team Position Played Tries Conversions Penalties Drop Goals Total Points Yellow Cards Red Cards
Doug Howlett  New ZealandWing770003500
Mils Muliaina  New ZealandFull-back770003500
Joe Rokocoko  New ZealandWing560003000
Will Greenwood  EnglandCentre650002500
Chris Latham  AustraliaFull-back150002500
Josh Lewsey  EnglandFull-back550002500
Mat Rogers  AustraliaFull-back7516005710
Lote Tuqiri  AustraliaWing750002500
Pablo Bouza  ArgentinaNo. 8240002000
Christophe Dominici  FranceWing540002010
Caleb Ralph  New ZealandWing 240002000


The event was broadcast by Seven Network and Fox Sports in Australia and by ITV in the United Kingdom.


  1. "New Zealand loses Cup status", BBC, 8 March 2002.
  2. "NZ loses Rugby World Cup", BBC, 18 April 2002.
  3. thefreelibrary.com
  4. youtube.com
  5. Devlin, Martin (10 May 2009). "Cup won't be empty for three more years". Sunday News. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  6. "England rugby heroes arrive home". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 25 November 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2006.
  7. "Visa International Renews Rugby World Cup Partnership". corporate.visa.com. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2006.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Preceded by
1999 Rugby
World Cup
Rugby World Cup
Succeeded by
2007 Rugby
World Cup
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