Bryan Habana scored a hat-trick to move level with Jonah Lomu as the World Cup’s all-time leading try scorer as South Africa routed the USA at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Reuters

South Africa 64 USA 0 No one expected the Brave Blossom heroics of several weeks ago. Lightning striking twice in Pool B with South Africa on t(...)

Nelson Mandela hands the Webb Ellis Cup to South Africa captain Francois Pienaar. Photograph: Getty

Having been excluded from the first two Rugby World Cups in 1987 and 1991 South Africa emergedfrom the dark shadow of apartheid to rejoin the elite in(...)

France produced arguably the greatest World Cup comeback when they beat the All Blacks at Twickenham 1999. Photograph: Getty

In 1987 France, weary from their thrilling semi-final win over Australia, were mere participants in the World Cup final, as New Zealand were coronated(...)

The Webb Ellis Cup with a 2015 rugby ball ahead of this month’s tournament. Photograph: Dave Rogers/Getty Images)

A - Diego Luis ALBANESE.  He was the Argentine wing whose try condemned Ireland to defeat in a World Cup quarter-final playoff match in the 19(...)

Ireland fans celebrate victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland. Photograph: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

1 - 1987 Ireland 46 Canada 19 - Carisbrook, Dunedin It didn’t turn out to be the most auspicious of World Cups for Ireland. Coach, t(...)

I was sitting in Kielys of Donnybrook Town recently with my famous tactics book in front of me, scribbling down a few thoughts I had about the beautif(...)

Jonah Lomu swatted away white shirts to score another stunning try against England in Pool B of the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty

England’s game against New Zealand in Pool B of the 1999 World Cup wasn’t a must-win, but for both sides life would be far easier down the line if the(...)

Jannie de Beer drops his fourth of five goals against England in the 1999 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. Photograph: Getty

It would be fair for England to consider themselves world rugby’s drop-goal connoisseurs. In 1991 they beat Scotland by a point to reach the World Cu(...)

Zinzan Brooke scored a stunning drop goal as New Zealand blew England out of the water in the 1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final. Photograph: Getty

It seems ridiculous to think now but in the lead up to the 1995 World Cup New Zealand were, for once, not necessarily the favourites. In 1994 the All(...)

Marc Ellis scored six tries in New Zealand’s record 145-17 win over Japan in 1995, a record which still stands today. Photograph: Getty

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will prove a benchmark for the famous tournament as it ventures intoAsia and away from the sport’s top tier nations for the f(...)