This year, the tenth Rugby World Cup will take place in France, with 20 nations set to battle it out to be crowned the best in the world. Held every four years since 1987, the Rugby World Cup is one of the biggest global sporting tournaments, with an audience of millions set to watch every match.
Being the pinnacle of the international rugby union scene, the level of completion, skill, and intensity is unmatched as the best sides from the northern and southern hemispheres collide aiming to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy.
Top 10 Rugby World Cup Tries
Throughout its history, some stunning Rugby World Cup tries have been scored, and we’ve taken a closer look at the best tries in Rugby World Cup history below.
John Kirwan – New Zealand vs Italy (1987)
A try from the first-ever Rugby World Cup match showcased the standards yet to come. All Blacks winger Kirwan began a rout of the Azzurri by taking the ball ten metres from his posts and sprinting through and away from the entire Italian side.
Jonah Lomu – New Zealand vs England (1995)
Lomu’s four-try performance in the 1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final is still remembered as one of the most outstanding individual performances in rugby union history. It showcased the global emergence of Lomu and led England captain Will Carling to describe him as a ‘freak’.
Takudzwa Ngwenya – USA vs South Africa (2007)
A try that must still haunt Bryan Habana, the Springboks winger who was rarely beaten for speed. However, rugby fans worldwide were left in awe when Ngwenya, with his stunning pace, left Habana in his wake to score an incredible try for the USA.
TJ Perenara – New Zealand vs Namibia (2019)
Renowned as one of the most outstanding tries ever, TJ Perenara started and ended a stunning move against Namibia. After a devastating break from New Zealand, Perenara received a behind-the-back pass before the All Blacks scrum-half beat two defenders before touching down in the corner.
Christophe Lamaison – France vs New Zealand (1999)
Lamaison scored the opening try in one of the greatest-ever Rugby World Cup matches as France fought back from the dead to beat New Zealand. After a scintillating run from Christophe Dominici. And Lamaison was to be pivotal in the French comeback in the second half with his accurate kicking.
Kosuke Endo – Japan vs Wales (2007)
Although they suffered a heavy defeat, Japanese rugby fans had a reason to celebrate. In a moment of opportunistic brilliance, Japan seized the ball from a Welsh ruck on their own 5-metre line and launched a counter-attack that evaded every Welsh player with just four passes, culminating in a try 16 seconds later at the other end of the field.
Vilimoni Delasau – Fiji vs Wales (2007)
Fiji spread the ball wide and added a touch of creativity with a cheeky behind-the-back pass, throwing the Welsh defence into disarray. Seizing the opportunity, Vilimoni Delasau executed a kick-and-chase, which resulted in a perfectly-timed bounce, allowing the winger to score a fantastic try on the way to a stunning Fijian victory.
Stephen Jones – Wales vs England (2003)
Welsh winger Shane Williams announced his arrival on the Rugby World Cup stage by launching a trademark counter-attack before demonstrating remarkable skill to execute a superb off-load to allow Stephen Jones to cross the line.
Yannick Jauzion – France vs New Zealand (2007)
Eight years after their stunning upset against the All Blacks, the French again displayed their brilliance in the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup. Yannick Jauzion’s pivotal try ultimately sealed the match, forcing New Zealand to wait another four years before claiming World Cup glory.
Serge Blanco – France vs Australia (1987)
Serge Blanco’s try against Australia embodies the quintessential French rugby style. However, this try is remarkable because it came at the end of the match and secured France’s place in the inaugural Rugby World Cup final. For many, it tops the list of the Rugby World Cup best tries.
With some superb tries over the years, picking which ranks as number one in the list of the best tries from the Rubgy World Cup is hard. However, Serge Blanco’s in 1987 late in the semi-final against Australia will live long in the memory and will be a sense of motivation for the French class of 2023 as they look to win the Rugby World Cup for the first time.
There have been memorable tries over the years, but for many people, Serge Blanca’s match-winning try for France in the 1987 semi-final against Australia ranks top of the list of the best tries in Rugby World Cup history.
New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu and South Africa’s Bryan Habana share the record for the most tries scored at the Rugby World Cup with 15 each.
Scotland’s John Leslie scored the fastest try in international rugby – he touched the ball down just 10 seconds after the kick-off against Wales in the 1999 Five Nations.