category: History & Legends

From 2000 to 2007

All data used as is from rugbyfootballhistory.com


The Mandela plate was established as a perpetual trophy between Australia and South Africa.

The largest paying attendance for an international is 109,874 for New Zealand's 39-35 victory over Australia at Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia on 15 July 2000.

English league title changed to Zurich Premiership

Italy open their Six Nations account with decisive victory over Scotland in Rome. England are deprived the Grand Slam by Scotland in surprise result at Murrayfield on the final weekend of the season.


The Tom Richard's trophy was made for the British Lions tour to Australia in 2001 and will be contested whenever Australia and the British Lions meet.

Celtic League rugby was 'born' on Friday 17 August 2001, with four matches in three countries in the brand new tournament. Wales and Scotland had already "joined forces" for the previous two seasons with the expansion of the Welsh Premiership to include Edinburgh and Glasgow and creating the Welsh-Scottish League. This time those eleven teams were joined by the four Irish Provinces and split into two pools, playing each other once, with clashes between teams in the Welsh-Scottish League also counting towards the new competition.

Ospreys, Munster, Leinster, Dragons, Llanelli Scarlets, Glasgow Rugby, Edinburgh Rugby, Ulster, Cardiff Blues, Connacht & The Borders

The inaugural competition was dominated by the Irish teams with all four sides reaching the last eight, three progressing to the semi-finals, and the thrilling final played in December at Lansdowne Road contested between Leinster and Munster with the Dublin boys running out 24-20 winners.


Second Women's rugby world cup

The fourth World Cup took place in Barcelona in May 2002. 16 Nations took part in the event and through the global development of rugby, included such countries as Japan and Samoa. England took on the Italians and successfully defeated them 63 – 9. However hosts Spain, were a difficult side to break down and a narrow victory of 13 – 5 took them through to the semi-final stages. Canada were overrun with a commanding England side who coasted to the final by 53 – 10. The Final saw England take on the mighty New Zealand Black Ferns and also saw one of the narrowest margins of victory in a World Cup Final.

New Zealand secured its second straight WRWC title with a 19-9 victory over England in Spain.

Wales captain Michael Owen became his country's 1,000th international player when he made his Test debut against South Africa.


Fifth Rugby World Cup - Australia.

10 October to 22 November 2003 Australia hosts the international festival of rugby
The biggest international sporting event for 2003 where the world’s 20 best rugby teams contested 48 matches over 44 days in 10 cities across Australia. England become the first Northern hemisphere country to win the RWC when with the scores locked at 17-all after 19 minutes of extra time Jonny Wilkinson England's fly half kicked a drop goal to secure victory.

England's Jason Leonard was the first player to play in a winning team in a Final after first playing in a losing team. (New Zealand's Sean Fitzpatrick has done the reverse). Leonard was also the first person to play in Finals separated by 12 years. Having surpassed the magic 100 international caps mark earlier in 2003, becoming the only forward to have achieved this, he then passed Philippe Sella's 8 year old record on 16 November 2003 to become the world's most capped player rather appropriately in the RWC semi final against France.

The Wallabies' 17 points are the most ever scored by a losing side in a Rugby World Cup Final. Australia's record Rugby World Cup winning streak ended after 12 matches.

Matt Giteau became the youngest Australian to play in a Rugby World Cup Final when he came on as a blood bin replacement. Aged 21 years and 24 days he was 44 days younger than Jason Little who played in the Final of Rugby World Cup 1991.

Colin Elsey, the photographer behind arguably one of Rugby Union's most defining and famous images, that of Fran Cotton as 'Mudman', died at the age of 64. The picture of Lions and England prop Cotton during a 1977 Lions game against the Junior All Blacks in Wellington, when rains had turned the pitch into a quagmire, is one of the most enduring images in sport.


The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) announced the format of Wales' regional rugby vision.

Each club within the Union's league structure has been told which of the four regional sides they are to feed, providing a pathway for developing stars to reach the professional game.

September 2004 John O'Donoghue, Irish Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, officially announced the re-development of Lansdowne Road into a 50,000 capacity all-seater stadium, due to be completed in 2009.

Croke Park will be used by the Ireland rugby side for internationals in the interim following Ireland's last match at Landsdowne Road which was the 61-17 win over the Pacific Islanders on 26 November 2006.


Women's Rugby World Cup. August 31st to 17th September, Edmonton Canada.

Wales and Australia played out the first draw in their history 29-29.

Wales 29 (16)
Tries: S Williams, M Williams.
Cons: J Hook 2.
Pens: S Jones, G Henson, J Hook 3.

Australia 29 (17)
Tries: C Shepherd 2, M Giteau, C Latham.
Cons: M Giteau 3.
Pens: M Giteau.

Last game played at Lansdowne Road, Dublin prior to re-development of the facility, due to re-open in 2009.


History making in the 6 Nationschampionship:

In England's opening game of the 2007 Six Nations Championship against Scotland on February 3, 2007. Jonny Wilkinson scored 27 points (1T) (2C) (5P) (1DG) (a record in the Calcutta Cup beating Rob Andrew's 24 ) and was awarded Man of the Match. This also placed him at top of the all-time scoring list in only his 54th England appearance.

Wilkinson went into next game vs. Italy level on 406 championship points with former Wales star Neil Jenkins. The England fly-half's third-minute penalty against Italy at Twickenham established him as the record points scorer in Five or RBS 6 Nations Championship history.

Wilkinson is also moving closer towards Jenkins' world record points total for Wales of 1,049 and subject to form and fitness, Wilkinson could reach that total later this year, possibly during England's 2007 World Cup campaign.

Croke Park, Dublin the 82,000 seater hurling and Gaelic football stadium, opens its gates to Rugby and Soccer games for the first time. The first Rugby games are the 6 Nations games vs. France and England.

February 24th, Italy acheived their first away win against a 6 nations side by beating Scotland 37 to 17. They scored three times in the first 7 minutes to no reply but even ignoring those 21 points, outscored Scotland for the remainder of the game.

Scotland: (10) 17
Tries: Dewey, Paterson
Cons: Paterson 2
Pens: Paterson

Italy: (24) 37
Tries: Bergamasco, Scanavacca, Robertson, Troncon
Cons: Scanavacca 4
Pens: Scanavacca 3

Scotland: Southwell (Edinburgh); Lamont (Northampton), Di Rollo (Edinburgh), Dewey (Edinburgh), Paterson (Edinburgh, captain); Godman (Edinburgh), Cusiter (Border Reivers); Kerr (Border Reivers), Hall (Edinburgh), Murray (Glasgow Warriors), Hines (Perpignan), Murray (Edinburgh), Taylor (Edinburgh), Callam (Edinburgh), Brown (Border Reivers).
Replacements: Ford (Border Reivers), Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Hamilton (Leicester), Hogg (Edinburgh), Lawson (Gloucester), Henderson (Glasgow Warriors), Walker (Ospreys).

Italy: De Marigny (Calvisano); Robertson (Viadana), Canale (Clermont Auvergne), Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais), Masi (Biarritz); Scanavacca (Calvisano), Troncon (Clermont Auvergne); Lo Cicero (L'Aquila), Festuccia (Gran Parma), Castrogiovanni (Leicester), Dellape (Biarritz), Bortolami (Gloucester, capt), Zanni (Calvisano), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais), Parisse (Stade Francais).
Replacements: Ongaro (Saracens), Perugini (Toulouse), Nieto (Gloucester), Bernabo (Calvisano), Zaffiri (Calvisano), Griffen (Calvisano), Pez (Bayonne).

England conceeded over 40 points for the first time in 6 nations history when they lost to Ireland:

Ireland: (23) 43
Tries: Dempsey, Wallace, Horgan, Boss
Cons: O'Gara 3, Wallace
Pens: O'Gara 5

England: (3) 13
Tries: Strettle
Cons: Wilkinson
Pens: Wilkinson 2

Ireland: Dempsey; Horgan, B O'Driscoll (capt), D'Arcy, Hickie; O'Gara, Stringer; Horan, R Best, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, S Easterby, D Wallace, Leamy.
Replacements: Flannery, S Best, N Best, M O'Driscoll, Boss, P Wallace, Trimble.

England: Morgan; Lewsey, Tindall, Farrell, Strettle; Wilkinson, Ellis; Freshwater, Chuter, Vickery (capt), Deacon, Grewcock, Worsley, Lund, Corry.
Replacements: Mears, White, Palmer, Rees, Perry, Flood, Tait.



RWC France. Matches will be held between September 7 and October 20, 2007 in France in the following cities: Paris, St Denis, Marseilles, Lens, St Etienne, Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Toulouse, except for three pool matches to be held in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and a quarter final also in Wales.


Rugby is a proud member of the family of world sports and of the IOC. Full International Olympic Committee (IOC) status was confirmed in September, 1997 for a non-participating sport. Once again rugby is not allowed to be a participating sport at the 2008 Olympics dewspite the fact that Rugby satisfies in every respect the criteria set out in the Olympic Charter for inclusion in the programme of the Olympic Games. Specifically:

- The sport is played by men in over 100 countries in 5 continents. It is played by women in some 52 countries in 5 continents.
- The IRB and its Member Unions apply the World Anti-Doping Code and perform in and out-of-competition testing.
- The IRB is experienced in organising qualifying events for its World Cup and has the competence to do so for the Olympic Games. As a team sport, rugby would be able to conform to the requirement for the number of teams not to exceed 12 teams for each gender. (See footnote later.)
- The rugby programme could be accommodated within one stadium. However, it would be preferable and helpful to have a number of other grassed areas or fields for team preparation and training.
- In addition, the rugby programme can comfortably share a stadium with other events. Converting a pitch from rugby to soccer, can be accomplished in less than two hours.
- No special equipment is required for rugby. It is a relatively inexpensive game to play.

Rugby made its Olympic debut in 1900 and the USA, Gold Medal Winners in 1924, have been Olympic Champions ever since. That's because rugby was discontinued as an Olympic sport after 1924.


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CoZania August 2007