Who has won Rugby Union World Cups, and Why ?

The short answer to the first sub-question is that only four nations have ever won the Rugby Union Cup over its history since 1987.  The New Zealand All Blacks, South African Springboks, and Australian Wallabies each have two wins, England has one. France has played in three finals and unfortunately for them, lost in all three.

Explaining why these nations have won is a much more difficult proposition.  Clearly, they are the world powers in rugby, but that begs another question, why are they so strong ?

Over the years, many arguments have been made.  Some say its down to tradition and Southern Hemisphere dominance.  Some say its depth of playing numbers.  Some say its due to a frontier mentality.  What do you think ?

We spent several months researching this question academically, and think we have found some interesting answers.  We’ll cover them in the next few posts.

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Empirical Rugby

Empirical Rugby is a blog that provides fundmental insight into rugby union using empirical analysis of rugby data.

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