Historical & Current Events dictionary

Rugby World Cup

or RWC or Rugby Union World Cup [ ruhg-bee wurld kuhp ]

What is the Rugby World Cup?

The Rugby World Cup is an international rugby tournament. The same name is used for separate tournaments for women’s teams and men’s teams.

The tournament begins with pool play among qualifying teams, with the top teams from each pool moving on to the next round. The teams that make it through are seeded and play in a single-elimination bracket. Regional qualifier matches are typically held in the two years leading up to the Rugby World Cup.

Did you know that rugby has its own emoji? Learn about the rugby football emoji 🏉.

⚡️When is the Rugby World Cup?

Both the men’s and the women’s Rugby World Cup are usually held every four years. The events are usually staggered so that they occur two years apart. Both events usually begin in September and end in October.

The 2023 men’s Rugby World Cup is scheduled for September 8–October 28, 2023. The women’s Rugby World Cup will be held in 2025.

Related words

Australian Open, British Open, French Open, Opening Day, X Games, 🏉 Rugby Football emoji, 🏈 American Football emoji

Where does Rugby World Cup come from?

The name World Cup is also used for other international competitions and is most closely associated with the international football (soccer) tournament.

The first Rugby World Cup was held in Australia in 1987 among 16 men’s teams. The first women’s Rugby World Cup was held in 1991, the same year as the second men’s event. Scheduling of each event has varied over the years, but they are now usually staggered so that each one occurs every two years.

Examples of Rugby World Cup

Loving the Rugby World Cup! Japan winning was insane! Who's watching it? :) - Cian
@HomeTownOffic, September 19, 2015
VERY excited to be at the Rugby World Cup final. Once in a life time opportunity. Thank you very much @LandRoverRugby for having us.
@JimChapman, October 31, 2015
South Africa captured its third Rugby World Cup championship on Saturday, defeating a favored England team, 32-12, and extending the dominance of teams from the Southern Hemisphere in the tournament.
Joe Ritchie, New York Times, November 2, 2019

More information and context on the Rugby World Cup

Did you know … ?

  • Some of the rules for the Rugby World Cup differ from those followed in other organizations and leagues, including rules related to the number of players on the field, the size of the field, and the scoring system.
  • In 2003, South African player Rudolph Janse van Vuuren played in both the Rugby World Cup and the Cricket World Cup.

What are other words used in discussion of the Rugby World Cup?

Just Added

Damp January, beekeeping age, mi amor, Galentine's Day, feminine energy


This is not meant to be a formal definition of Rugby World Cup like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Rugby World Cup that will help our users expand their word mastery.