Rugby World Cup 2023 sets a legacy of harmony and growth


South Africa lifted the Webb Ellis Cup at a spectacular final presentation at Stade de France (Image Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, November 1, 2023

Rugby World Cup 2023 ended in style in Saint-Denis as South Africa won the final against New Zealand to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the fourth time in their history.

An unusually unfancied New Zealand dazzled throughout the series, scoring a tournament-high 49 tries (19 more than any other side) and contributing to a dramatic final with a one-point defeat for New Zealand in their efforts to win a record fourth Rugby World Cup but once again the All Blacks lit up the game’s showpiece event.

In front of 80,000 fans in Stade de France and hundreds of millions more via broadcast and social media, the world of rugby united to crown the champions, concluding a remarkable Rugby World Cup.

All Blacks lit up the game’s showpiece event with their efforts (Image Supplied)

France hailed as the perfect host

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont hailed France as the greatest of hosts, inspiring the world to fall in love with the oval ball.

He said that Rugby World Cup 2023 will leave a legacy of harmony, growth and sustainable responsibility as it has set new standards on and off the pitch for the men’s showcase events leaving a bright legacy for future tournaments.

On every level, France was a resounding success, rising from the social and sporting turmoil of the pandemic to put smiles on the faces of fans across the host nation and around the world.

Over 51 glorious days, France welcomed the rugby family with open arms and the rugby family brought passion, colour and fun as every dramatic moment played out in full and vibrant stadia the length and breadth of the host nation.

Tournament of Firsts

In a tournament of firsts, Chile made their debut and Portugal sent a nation rugby crazy with their first-ever win. Fiji played their full part in what will be remembered as the greatest weekend of rugby ever, as the four quarter-finals went down to the wire.

Away from the field, Rugby World Cup 2023 set new standards as an event with a positive impact, connecting participating teams with community activities, raising awareness for LGBTQ+ rights, launching new player welfare innovations and seeing more than 80% of all team movements undertaken by train or bus, a first for Rugby World Cup.

Rugby World Cup 2023 in Numbers (INL Image)

Raising the Bar

It was off the pitch that France 2023 raised the bar with an ambitious and innovative CSR programme showing the positive impact a Rugby World Cup can have on society. Some of the highlights include the amount of €1 million raised for Rugby au Coeur, the tournament’s official charity and endowment fund financing sport for development programmes.

Around 1,400 apprentices were trained in the sectors of event management, security and tourism, notably to help the development of French community rugby clubs, while 60 community engagements were delivered by the participants including 28 open training sessions.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said, “France 2023 was our greatest celebration of togetherness and a fitting 200th birthday party for our sport. We witnessed compelling action throughout, full stadia and vibrant, engaged host cities. On every level, it smashed records and broke boundaries, but above all, it showcased the best of Rugby, the best of friendship and the best of France.”

He further said, “Congratulations to World Champions South Africa, silver medallists New Zealand, bronze medallists England, and to all the teams who captivated and inspired. I would also like to extend special congratulations to the teams behind the teams, our excellent match officials, the welcoming volunteers, wonderful fans from around the world, and of course, the French public who embraced our tournament, and passed it on to Australia enhanced.”

A world-class sporting event

France 2023 Chairman Jacques Rivoal said, “The France 2023 Organising Committee set itself the objective of delivering the greatest Rugby World Cup ever. Together with World Rugby, and through the excellent work that was done by the France 2023 teams, volunteers, sponsors, host cities and the French government, we have delivered a world-class sporting event, allowing players and fans to experience rugby’s pinnacle in a wonderful atmosphere of celebration.”

“Finally, we must thank the fans. Hundreds of thousands of international supporters travelled to France to celebrate with millions of French people, creating memories that will last a lifetime. This celebration of togetherness is theirs, and how this Rugby World Cup will be remembered in years to come.”

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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