The 2023 Rugby World Cup is just weeks away, and with it comes the excitement of seeing the best teams from around the world battle it out for the title. But before we look ahead at what’s to come, let's look back at some of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history:
Wales vs Samoa (1999)
One of the biggest upsets of the Rugby World Cups was the Wales vs Samoa pool stage match in 1999. Wales were feeling confident about their match against Samoa. However, it seems they were blindsided -- Samoa shocked the rugby world by defeating Wales 16-13, making it the first time a Pacific Island nation had ever beaten a major rugby nation in a World Cup match. The match exhibited the unpredictable nature of sport and how you just cannot underestimate the other team - no matter their current standing.
France vs New Zealand (2017)
Another match that experienced a stunning turn of events was the quarter finals between the great All Blacks and France. New Zealand, having won three World Cups already felt quite confident going into the match against a side who never won the tournament.
New Zealand led 13-3 by halftime but upon return France played with sheer determination, and their dominance could be seen, especially due to Dan Carter’s exceptional performance. France staged a remarkable comeback and shocked the rugby world by securing a 20-18 victory over the clear favourites.
Japan vs South Africa (2015)
Another one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history includes the encounter between two-time World Champions, South Africa, and Japan in 2015. South Africa were the favourites however Japan pulled off a last-minute winner to the left corner, scored by Karne Hesketh making the score 34-32. The impossible and unpredictable had happened in this pool match, the stadium exploded in celebration and Japan knew from that day that they could do better and are capable of defeating top-tier teams. Once again, a team had won against all odds and shocked the entire Rugby World.
Fiji vs Uruguay (2019)