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1995 Rugby World Cup
Tournament details
Host nation  South Africa
Dates 25 May – 24 June 1995
No. of nations 16 (52 qualifying)
Final positions
Champions Gold medal blank.svg  South Africa
Runner-up Silver medal blank.svg  New Zealand
Tournament statistics
Matches played 32
Attendance 1,100,000 (34,375 per match)
Top scorer(s) France Thierry Lacroix (112)
Most tries New Zealand Jonah Lomu (7)
New Zealand Marc Ellis (7)

The 1995 Rugby World Cup was the third Rugby World Cup. It was hosted and won by South Africa, and was the first Rugby World Cup in which every match was held in one country.

The World Cup was the first major sporting event to take place in South Africa following the end of apartheid. It was also the first in which the South African national team was allowed to compete; the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB, now the International Rugby Board) had only allowed the readmittance of South Africa to international rugby in 1992, following negotiations to end apartheid. The World Cup would also be the last major event of rugby union's amateur era; two months after the tournament, the IRFB opened the sport to professionalism.

The World Cup would be marred by an accident that took place during the pool stage of the tournament. Three minutes into a match between Côte d'Ivoire and Tonga, the Ivorian winger Max Brito was crushed beneath several other players. Despite intensive care, Brito was left paralyzed below the neck.[1]

At the World Cup Final, held at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 24 June, South Africa defeated New Zealand 15 – 12, with Joel Stransky scoring a drop goal in extra time to win the match. Following South Africa's victory, Nelson Mandela, the President of South Africa, wearing a Springbok rugby shirt and cap, presented the Webb Ellis Cup to the South African captain François Pienaar. Mandela and Pienaar's involvement in the World Cup is the subject of the 2009 film Invictus.



The eight quarter-finalists from the 1991 Rugby World Cup all received automatic entry, as did South Africa, as hosts. The remaining seven of the 16 positions available in the tournament were filled by regional qualifiers. The qualifying tournaments were broken up into regional associations - Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Côte d'Ivoire qualified through Africa, Japan through Asia, Argentina through the Americas, Italy, Romania and Wales through Europe, Tonga through Oceania.


Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania



The 1995 tournament was the first Rugby World Cup to be hosted by just the one country, and thus, all the venues are within the one country. In total, nine stadiums were used for the World Cup, most being owned by the domestic rugby unions, and the majority of the venues were upgraded prior to the tournament. Six of the nine stadiums were South African Test grounds. The four largest stadiums were used for the finals, with the final taking place at Johannesburg's Ellis Park.

There were games originally scheduled to have been played in Brakpan, Germiston, Pietermaritzburg and Witbank, but these games were reallocated to other venues. This reduced the number of venues from 14 to 9. The reasons cited for this change had to do with facilities for both the press and spectators, as well as the security. The change in the itinerary occurred in January 1994. Further changes occurred in April, so that evening games were played at stadiums with good floodlighting. It is also thought that Potchefstroom was an original venue.

For the Pools, venues were paired:

  • Pool 1: Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Stellenbosch
  • Pool 2: Durban and East London
  • Pool 3: Johannesburg and Bloemfontein
  • Pool 4: Pretoria and Rustenburg
City Stadium Capacity
Johannesburg Ellis Park 62,000
Pretoria Loftus Versfeld 50,000
Cape Town Newlands 50,000
Durban Kings Park Stadium 50,000
Port Elizabeth Boet Erasmus Stadium 38,950
Bloemfontein Free State Stadium 40,000
Rustenburg Olympia Park 30,000
East London Basil Kenyon Stadium 22,000
Stellenbosch Danie Craven Stadium 16,000


The tournament was contested by 16 different nations, and in total 32 matches were played. The competition began on May 25, when the hosts South Africa defeated Australia 27-18 at Newlands in Cape Town. The tourney culminated with the final between South Africa and the All Blacks at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on June 24. In total, the tournament ran for around one month. The nations were broken up into four pools of four, with each pool consisting of two teams that were automatically qualified and two that went through the qualifying tournaments. Pool winners were drawn against opposite pool runners-up in the quarter-finals. For example, the winner of A faces the runner up of B, and the winner of B face the runner-up of A. The whole finals stage adopts a knock-out format, and the winners of the quarter-finals advance to the semi-finals, where winner 1 faces winner 2, and winner 3 faces winner 4. The winners advance to the final, and the losers contest a third/fourth place play-off the day before the final.


1995 Rugby World Cup Final
Event 1995 Rugby World Cup
After extra time
Date 24 June 1995
Venue Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
Referee England Ed Morrison
Attendance 65,000
1999 →

The final was contested by the hosts, South Africa, and New Zealand, popularly known respectively as the Springboks and the All Blacks. Both nations finished at the top of their respective pools, both 3-0 undefeated in the pool stages. South Africa defeated Western Samoa in the quarter finals, and then France in the semi-finals to reach the final; New Zealand defeated Scotland in the quarter-finals, and England in the semi-finals, a game in which Jonah Lomu famously scored four tries for the All Blacks. The final was played at Ellis Park in Johannesburg and refereed by Ed Morrison of England.

South Africa led 9-6 at half time, and New Zealand levelled the scores at 9-all with a drop goal in the second half. Though Andrew Mehrtens almost kicked a late drop goal for the All Blacks, the score remained unchanged at full time, forcing the game into extra time. Both teams scored penalty goals in the first half of extra time, but it was Joel Stransky who landed a drop goal to win the final for South Africa.

What happened after the match would go on to become an iconic moment in the history of the sport. Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok rugby shirt and baseball cap, presented the William Webb Ellis Cup to South African captain François Pienaar to the delight of the capacity crowd. The moment is thought by some to be one of the most famous finals of any sport.[2] Mandela's presentation was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments on a British television programme.

After the defeat, various allegations were made around the lead up to the final. It was claimed that many of the New Zealand players had been suffering from food poisoning 48 hours prior to the game. New Zealand coach Laurie Mains alleged a mysterious waitress known as "Suzie" had deliberately poisoned the All Blacks' water in the week before the final.[3]

Pool stage


Pool A

Team Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
 South Africa 3 0 0 68 26 9
 Australia 2 0 1 87 41 7
 Canada 1 0 2 45 50 5
 Romania 0 0 3 14 97 3
25 May 1995
South Africa  27 – 18  Australia Newlands, Cape Town
Attendance: 51,000
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)
Tries: Hendriks, Stransky
Con: Stransky
Pen: Stransky (4)
Drop: Stransky
Tries: Kearns, Lynagh
Con: Lynagh
Pen: Lynagh (2)

26 May 1995
Canada  34 – 3  Romania Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Attendance: 18,000
Referee: Colin Hawke (New Zealand)
Tries: Charron, McKenzie, Snow
Con: Rees (2)
Pen: Rees (4)
Pen: Nichitean

30 May 1995
South Africa  21 – 8  Romania Newlands, Cape Town
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Ken McCartney (Scotland)
Tries: Richter (2)
Con: Johnson
Pen: Johnson (3)
Tries: Guranescu
Pen: Ivancuic

31 May 1995
Australia  27 – 11  Canada Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Patrick Robin (France)
Tries: Lynagh, Tamanivalu, Roff
Con: Lynagh (3)
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Tries: Charron
Pen: Rees (2)

3 June 1995
Australia  42 – 3  Romania Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Naoki Saito (Japan)
Tries: Smith, Wilson, Roff, Foley, Burke
Con: Burke (2), Eales (4)
Pen: Ivancuic

3 June 1995
South Africa  20 – 0  Canada Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Attendance: 31,000
Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)
Tries: Richter (2)
Con: Stransky (2)
Pen: Stransky (2)

Pool B

Team Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
 England 3 0 0 95 60 9
 Western Samoa 2 0 1 96 88 7
 Italy 1 0 2 69 94 5
 Argentina 0 0 3 69 87 3
27 May 1995
Italy  18 – 42  Western Samoa Basil Kenyon Stadium, East London
Attendance: 11,000
Referee: Joel Dume (France)
Tries: Vaccari, Cuttitta
Con: Dominguez
Pen: Dominguez
Drop: Dominguez
Tries: Lima (2), Harder (3), Kellet, Tatupu
Con: Kellet (2)
Pen: Kellet (1)

27 May 1995
Argentina  18 – 24  England Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: Jim Fleming (Scotland)
Tries: Arbizu, Noriega
Con: Arbizu
Pen: Arbizu (2)
Pen: Andrew (6)
Drop: Andrew (2)

30 May 1995
Western Samoa  32 – 26  Argentina Basil Kenyon Stadium, East London
Attendance: 11,000
Referee: David Bishop (New Zealand)
Tries: Lam, Leaupepe, Harder
Con: Kellet
Pen: Kellet (5)
Tries: Penalty try, Crexwell
Con: Cilley (2)
Pen: Cilley (4)

31 May 1995
England  27 – 20  Italy Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Attendance: 21,000
Referee: Stephen Hilditch (Ireland)
Tries: R. Underwood, T. Underwood
Con: Andrew
Pen: Andrew (5)
Tries: Cuttitta, Vaccari
Con: Dominguez (2)
Pen: Dominguez (2)

4 June 1995
Argentina  25 – 31  Italy Basil Kenyon Stadium, East London
Attendance: 11,000
Referee: Clayton Thomas (Wales)
Tries: Corral, Martin, Cilley
Con: Cilley
Pen: Cilley
Tries: Vaccari, Gerosa, Dominguez
Con: Dominguez (2)
Pen: Dominguez (4)

4 June 1995
England  44 – 22  Western Samoa Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Patrick Robin (France)
Tries: R. Underwood (2), Back
Con: Callard
Pen: Callard
Drop: Catt
Tries: Sini (2), Umaga
Con: Fa'amasino (2)
Pen: Fa'amasino

Pool C

Team Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
 New Zealand 3 0 0 222 45 9
 Ireland 2 0 1 93 94 7
 Wales 1 0 2 89 68 5
 Japan 0 0 3 55 252 3
27 May 1995
Japan  10 – 57  Wales Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Efrahim Sklar (Argentina)
Tries: Ota (2) Tries: G. Thomas (3), I. Evans (2), Moore, Taylor
Con: N. Jenkins (5)
Pen: N. Jenkins (4)

27 May 1995
Ireland  19 – 43  New Zealand Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Attendance: 38,000
Referee: Wayne Erickson (Australia)
Tries: Corkery, McBride, Halpin
Con: Elwood (2)
Tries: Lomu (2), Kronfeld, Bunce, Osborne
Con: Mehrtens (3)
Pen: Mehrtens (4)

31 May 1995
Ireland  50 – 28  Japan Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Stef Neethling (South Africa)
Tries: Francis, Geoghegan, Corkery, Halvey, Hogan
Con: Burke (6)
Pen: Burke
Tries: Latu, Izawa, Hirao, Takura
Con: Yoshida (4)

31 May 1995
New Zealand  34 – 9  Wales Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Attendance: 38,000
Referee: Ed Morrison (England)
Tries: Ellis, Little, Kronfeld
Con: Mehrtens (2)
Pen: Mehrtens (4)
Drop: Mehrtens
Pen: N. Jenkins (2)
Drop: N. Jenkins

4 June 1995
Japan  17 – 145  New Zealand Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Attendance: 17,000
Referee: George Gadjovic (Canada)
Tries: Kajihara (2)
Con: Hirose (2)
Pen: Hirose
Tries: Ellis (6), Rush (3), Wilson (3), R. Brooke (2), Osborne (2), Loe, Culhane, Henderson, Dowd, Ieremia
Con: Culhane (20)

4 June 1995
Ireland  24 – 23  Wales Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Ian Rogers (South Africa)
Tries: Halvey, Popplewell, McBride
Con: Elwood (3)
Pen: Elwood
Tries: Humphreys, Taylor
Con: N. Jenkins (2)
Pen: N. Jenkins (2)
Drop: A. Davies

Pool D

Team Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
 France 3 0 0 114 47 9
 Scotland 2 0 1 149 27 7
 Tonga 1 0 2 44 90 5
 Côte d'Ivoire 0 0 3 29 172 3
26 May 1995
Côte d'Ivoire  0 – 89  Scotland Olympia Park, Rustenburg
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Felise Vito (Western Samoa)
Tries: G. Hastings (4), Logan (2), Walton (2), Wright, Chalmers, Stanger, Burnell, Shiel
Con: G. Hastings (9)
Pen: G. Hastings (2)

26 May 1995
France  38 – 10  Tonga Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: Steve Lander (England)
Tries: Lacroix (2), Hueber, Saint-André
Con: Lacroix (3)
Pen: Lacroix (3)
Drop: Delaigue
Tries: Va'enuku
Con: Tu'ipulotu
Pen: Tu'ipulotu

30 May 1995
France  54 – 18  Côte d'Ivoire Olympia Park, Rustenburg
Attendance: 17,000
Referee: Han Moon-Soo (South Korea)
Tries: Lacroix (2), Benazzi, Téchoueyres, Viars, Accoceberry, Saint-André, Costes
Con: Deylaud (2), Lacroix (2)
Pen: Lacroix (2)
Tries: Soulama, Camara
Con: Kouassi
Pen: Kouassi (2)

30 May 1995
Scotland  41 – 5  Tonga Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Attendance: 21,000
Referee: Barry Leask (Australia)
Tries: S. Hastings, Peters, G. Hastings
Con: G. Hastings
Pen: G. Hastings (8)
Tries: Fenukitau

3 June 1995
Côte d'Ivoire  11 – 29  Tonga Olympia Park, Rustenburg
Attendance: 16,000
Referee: Don Reordan (United States)
Tries: Okou
Pen: Dali (2)
Tries: 'Otai, Tu'ipulotu, Latukefu
Con: Tu'ipulotu (3)
Pen: Tu'ipulotu

3 June 1995
France  22 – 19  Scotland Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Wayne Erickson (Australia)
Tries: Ntamack
Con: Lacroix
Pen: Lacroix (5)
Tries: Wainwright
Con: G. Hastings
Pen: G. Hastings (4)

Knock-out stage

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
10 June – Ellis Park, Johannesburg        
  South Africa  42
17 June – Kings Park Stadium, Durban
  Western Samoa  14  
  South Africa  19
10 June – Kings Park Stadium, Durban
    France  15  
  France  36
24 June – Ellis Park, Johannesburg (a.e.t.)
  Ireland  12  
  South Africa  15
11 June – Newlands, Cape Town
    New Zealand  12
  England  25
18 June – Newlands, Cape Town
  Australia  22  
  England  29 Third place
11 June – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
    New Zealand  45  
  New Zealand  48   France  19
  Scotland  30     England  9
22 June – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria


10 June 1995
France  36 – 12  Ireland Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Attendance: 18,000
Referee: Ed Morrison (England)
Tries: Saint-André, Ntamack
Con: Lacroix
Pen: Lacroix (8)
Pen: Elwood (4)

10 June 1995
South Africa  42 – 14  Western Samoa Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Attendance: 52,000
Referee: Jim Fleming (Scotland)
Tries: Williams (4), Rossouw, Andrews
Con: Johnson (3)
Pen: Johnson (2)
Tries: Tatupu, Nu'uali'itia
Con: Fa'amasin (2)

11 June 1995
England  25 – 22  Australia Newlands, Cape Town
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: David Bishop (New Zealand)
Tries: T. Underwood
Con: Andrew
Pen: Andrew (5)
Drop: Andrew
Report Tries: Smith
Con: Lynagh
Pen: Lynagh (5)

11 June 1995
New Zealand  48 – 30  Scotland Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)
Tries: Little (2), Lomu, Mehrtens, Bunce, Fitzpatrick
Con: Mehrtens (6)
Pen: Mehrtens (2)
Tries: Weir (2), S. Hastings
Con: G. Hastings (3)
Pen: G. Hastings (3)


17 June 1995
South Africa  19 – 15  France Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)
Tries: Kruger
Con: Stransky
Pen: Stransky (4)
Pen: Lacroix (5)

18 June 1995
England  29 – 45  New Zealand Newlands, Cape Town
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Stephen Hilditch (Ireland)
Tries: Carling (2), R. Underwood
Con: Andrew (3)
Pen: Andrew
Report Tries: Lomu (4), Kronfeld, Bachop
Con: Mehrtens (3)
Pen: Mehrtens
Drop: Z. Brooke, Mehrtens

Third-place play-off

22 June 1995
France  19 – 9  England Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Attendance: 45,000
Referee: David Bishop (New Zealand)
Tries: Olivier Roumat, Ntamack
Pen: Lacroix (3)
Pen: Andrew (3)


24 June 1995
South Africa  15 – 12 (a.e.t.)  New Zealand Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Attendance: 65,000
Referee: Ed Morrison (England)
Pen: Stransky (3)
Drop: Stransky (2)
Report Pen: Mehrtens (3)
Drop: Mehrtens
 1995 Rugby World Cup Champions 

South Africa
First title

Commemorative coins

The South African Mint issued a one ounce gold proof "Protea" coin with a total mintage of 406 pieces to commemorate the event being hosted by South Africa.


External links


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