- Rugby World Cup 2023 closes with South Africa lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for the fourth time and a spectacular final presentation at Stade de France
- World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont hails France as the greatest of hosts, inspiring the world to fall in love with the oval ball
- Tournament smashes engagement and rugby village attendance
Rugby World Cup 2023 ended in style in Saint-Denis as South Africa won the final against New Zealand to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the fourth time in their history. In front of 80,000 fans at Stade de France and hundreds of millions more via broadcast and social media, the world of rugby united to crown the champions, concluding a remarkable Rugby World Cup.
On every level, France was a resounding success, rising from the social and sporting turmoil of the pandemic to put smiles on the faces of fans across the host nation and around the world. Over 51 glorious days, France welcomed the rugby family with open arms and the rugby family brought passion, colour and fun as every dramatic moment played out in full and vibrant stadia the length and breadth of the host nation. It was the ultimate 200th birthday for the sport.
A tournament of firsts, France 2023 captivated as Chile made their debut and Portugal sent a nation rugby crazy with their first-ever win. Fiji played their full part in what will be remembered as the greatest weekend of rugby ever, as the four quarter-finals went down to the wire.
Away from the field, Rugby World Cup 2023 set new standards as an event with a positive impact, connecting participating teams with community activities, raising awareness for LGBTQ+ rights, launching new player welfare innovations and seeing more than 80 per cent of all team movements undertaken by train or bus, a first for Rugby World Cup.
Rugby World Cup 2023 in figures
- The best attended RWC ever with more than four million cumulative attendance nation-wide, across nine stadia (over 2.4 million) and 10 rugby villages (1.6 million)
- An average match attendance of more than 50,000
- The most spoken about rugby event ever with 3.1 billion impressions on digital and social media
- A global broadcast audience of over 800 million and more than a million news media mentions
- A nation fell in love with rugby with a cumulative domestic audience of over 230 million on TF1, M6 and France Television
- A fantastic "Team 2023" made of 4,400 volunteers to welcome the 600,000 international fans
- A tournament that showed the best of rugby with 325 tries across the 48 matches
But it is off the pitch that France 2023 has really raised the bar with an ambitious and innovative CSR programme showing the positive impact a Rugby World Cup can have on society. Some of the highlights include:
- €1 million raised for Rugby au Coeur, the tournament’s official charity and endowment fund financing sport for development programmes
- 1,400 apprentices trained in the sectors of event management, security and tourism, notably to help the development of French community rugby clubs
- 60 community engagements delivered by the participating including 28 open training sessions
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “France 2023 was our greatest celebration of togetherness, and a fitting 200th birthday party for our sport. We witnessed compelling action throughout, full stadia and vibrant, engaged host cities. On every level, it smashed records and broke boundaries, but above all, it showcased the best of rugby, the best of friendship and the best of France.
“Congratulations to world champions South Africa, silver medallists New Zealand, bronze medallists England, and to all the teams who captivated and inspired. I would also like to extend special congratulations to the teams behind the teams, our excellent match officials, the welcoming volunteers, wonderful fans from around the world and, of course, the French public who embraced our tournament, and pass it on to Australia enhanced. Thank you.
“Special relationships make special events and I would like to pay tribute to President Macron, Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Florian Grill and our FFR friends and Jacques Rivoal and the France 2023 Organising Committee for delivering what will be remembered as one of the greatest sports events, rugby’s biggest and greatest celebration of togetherness.”
France 2023 Chairman Jacques Rivoal said: “The France 2023 Organising Committee set itself the objective of delivering the greatest Rugby World Cup ever. Together with World Rugby, and through the excellent work that was done by the France 2023 teams, volunteers, sponsors, host cities and French government, we have delivered a world class sporting event, giving players and fans the opportunity to experience rugby’s pinnacle in a wonderful atmosphere of celebration.
"Well done to world champions South Africa and thank you to all the participating teams who made history in this 10th Rugby World Cup, both on and off the pitch. Players were available throughout the tournament to engage with local clubs and communities, going beyond what was expected and contributing to the overall positive impact and legacy of Rugby World Cup 2023.
"Finally, we must thank the fans. Hundreds of thousands of international supporters travelled to France to celebrate with millions of French people, creating memories that will last a lifetime. This celebration of togetherness is theirs, and how this Rugby World Cup will be remembered in years to come.”