RWC 2021 Spotlight: Wales
Wales have taken part in every Rugby World Cup bar the 2006 tournament in Canada. However, despite being able to call on some talented players, they have failed to return to the semi-finals since their sole appearance in the last four at RWC 1994.
We take a look back at the story of Wales at Rugby World Cup.
RWC debut: 8 April, 1991 v Canada at Memorial Ground, Cardiff
RWC appearances: Played 32 – Won 13 Drawn 1 Lost 18 – Points for 603 Points against 669 – Win ratio 41 per cent
Best finish: Fourth, 1994
Qualification for RWC 2021: Finished seventh at RWC 2017
Most memorable match: Wales had a score to settle as they opened their RWC 1994 campaign against Canada. Three years previously, Wales’ first ever tournament match had ended as a 9-9 draw against the same opposition. Welsh players felt the referee should have blown the full-time whistle with the home side leading 9-6, and they exacted their revenge with an 11-5 win in Scotland. It set the tone for the team’s best Rugby World Cup result.
Iconic moment: Wales were without a win or a try as they took on South Africa in their final Pool C match at RWC 2014. Sioned Harries scored an opportune try to put that right just before half-time. After Jenny Davies grabbed a second, Harries crossed the whitewash twice more in the final eight minutes to complete her hat-trick. Her third try, scored in the left corner, secured Wales the bonus point that ultimately ensured they advanced to the fifth-place semi-finals.
Low point: On the field that came in the inaugural tournament as Wales failed to win a single game at home, and were beaten in the quarter-finals of the Plate competition by the Netherlands. Wales, though, failed to qualify for RWC 2006 in Canada after finishing bottom of the Women’s Six Nations 2005.
Iconic player: Liza Burgess. Known affectionately as ‘Bird’, Burgess played a key role in the development of the women’s game in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s. Having represented Great Britain, the forward played for Wales at three Rugby World Cups. A World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Burgess was 38 when she made her final tournament appearance at RWC 2002.
Did you know? No forward scored more tries than Sioned Harries (four) at RWC 2017. The back-row scored against New Zealand, Hong Kong and Ireland.
Quote: “It’s super exciting having a World Cup in New Zealand. I love New Zealand as a country, so to be able to go out there to play will be incredible. And I’m sure they’ll make a really big, it’ll be really good.” – Elinor Snowsill looks ahead to RWC 2021.
Read more: Fiji – South Africa