Five Rugby World Cup firsts

(Rugby News Service) Wednesday 31 August 2011
Five Rugby World Cup firsts
Brian Lima appeared in five Rugby World Cups between 1991-2007

AUCKLAND, 31 Aug. - Five firsts from Rugby World Cup history.

Lima's longevity

When Samoa’s Brian Lima came on as a replacement during his team’s 59-7 Pool A loss to South Africa in 2007 he became the first and only player to play in five Rugby World Cups. His record will stand until at least 2015 as there are no players at RWC 2011 who have played in more than three Rugby World Cups.

Lima is the only player representing a Pacific Island nation to play in at least four Rugby World Cups. Fiji’s fly half Nicky Little will join him if he takes to the field during RWC 2011.

Bunce switches allegiance

Frank Bunce played for New Zealand at Rugby World Cup 1995, having represented Samoa at the 1991 tournament. He was the first player to play for two countries at the Rugby World Cup.

Six more players joined Bunce by playing for a second team at RWC 1999 before the International Rugby Board changed their eligibility rules. Now, once a player has represented one country, he may not represent another.

France and Scotland play out first draw

It took just three matches for the Rugby World Cup to record its first draw when France and Scotland drew 20-20 in the second Pool Four match of RWC 1987.

There were another 210 RWC matches before there was another draw, this time a 12-12 deadlock between Canada and Japan in their Pool B match in Bordeaux at RWC 2007. These are the only two draws in RWC history although there have been three knockout matches tied after 80 minutes that went to extra time.

Beating the same team twice at one RWC

On just two occasions have teams met each other twice in a Rugby World Cup, both at RWC 2007. Argentina beat France 34-10 in the bronze final having beaten them 17-12 in the opening match of the tournament six weeks earlier.

The following night, South Africa beat England 15-6 in the final at Stade de France, the same venue that hosted their Pool A clash, which resulted in a 36-0 victory to South Africa.

Same teams, same winner, same score

England have played Samoa three times at the Rugby World Cup. On all three occasions Samoa scored 22 points. In their first and third encounters England scored 44 points. This is the only time in Rugby World Cup history that two teams have produced the same scoreline on two occasions.

RNS as/mr