Rugby World Cup shock wins – 2003 – 2011

World Rugby’s rankings came in to being before the 2003 rugby world cup and over the last 12 years just 3 teams have topped the rankings; New Zealand, South Africa and England.

By looking at the rankings for each individual team immediately before each world cup we can determine which results have been shocks, that is the lower ranked team has beaten the higher ranked team.

The table below shows which teams have caused the upset by beating the lower ranked teams.

shock wins

The table is topped by Argentina who went on an incredible run in the 2007 world cup where they beat France (twice) and Ireland.

The other interesting aspect to note is which teams haven’t beaten higher ranked nations. The fact New Zealand isn’t there isn’t a surprise given they are usually top of the rankings and the same can probably be said for South Africa but other notable omission is Wales.

Over the last 3 world cups Wales has failed to beat a higher ranked team.

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