Befitting a tournament of its stature, Rugby World Cup has graced some of the sport’s most iconic venues. There have been 613 matches played at 126 different venues across both tournaments, with Eden Park the first in 1987 and International Stadium Yokohama in 2019 the most recent.
Eden Park in Auckland has undergone extensive redevelopment work since that 70-6 win for the All Blacks against Italy and will in 2022 become the first ground to host the final of both the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups.
The All Blacks lifted the coveted Webb Ellis Cup in front of their own fans in 1987 and 2011 and the Black Ferns will hope to do the same at RWC 2021.
Twickenham, the headquarters of English rugby, has hosted more matches than any other ground with 20 fixtures played there, including two Rugby World Cup finals in 1991 and 2015, while the women’s showpiece occasion in 2010 was played just across the road at the Twickenham Stoop.
The cities of Cardiff and Paris have also hosted both finals, again in different venues. Cardiff hosted the inaugural women’s final in 1991 at Cardiff Arms Park and the RWC 1999 final at the Millennium Stadium. The Stade de France hosted the RWC 2007 title decider – and will do again in 2023 – while Stade Jean Bouin staged the women’s final in 2014.
Rugby World Cup has also taken in venues more familiar with other sports, notably in 2015 when Wembley Stadium and The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London both staged high-profile matches. The latter was not the first Olympic stadium to host Rugby World Cup matches, the
Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic in Barcelona hosted the women’s final in 2002 and Stadium Australia, the centrepiece of the Sydney 2000 Games, the men’s 2003 showdown.