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Scotland at the Rugby World Cup

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Title: Scotland at the Rugby World Cup  
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Subject: List of national sports teams of Scotland
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Scotland at the Rugby World Cup

This article is about rugby union. For Scotland in the Rugby League World Cup, see Scotland national rugby league team#Rugby League World Cup.

Scotland have played in every Rugby World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987.

Their best finish was fourth in 1991. In their semi-final on October 26, 1991 Scotland lost 6–9 to England at Murrayfield after Gavin Hastings missed a penalty almost in front of and a short distance from the posts. On October 30 Scotland lost the third-place play-off to New Zealand in Cardiff 13–6. Since then they have qualified for the quarter-finals in every tournament, except the most recent in 2011, but have not since qualified for the semi-finals.

Comprehensive team results

  • W - Champions
  • F - Runners Up
  • SF - Third place
  • SF - Fourth place
  • QF - Quarterfinals
  • R2 - Second Round
  • R1 - First Round
  • q - Qualified for forthcoming tournament

For each tournament, the flag of the host country and the number of qualified teams in each tournament (in parentheses) are shown.

Team 1987 1991 1995 1999 2003 2007 2011
AustraliaNew Zealand England South Africa Wales Australia France New Zealand
16 16 16 20 20 20 20
 Scotland 6th 4th 6th 6th 8th 8th 9th
Year Stage Team Score Team Venue
1987 Pool 4  France 20–20  Scotland Lancaster Park
1987 Pool 4  Scotland 60–21  Zimbabwe Athletic Park
1987 Pool 4  Romania 28–55  Scotland Carisbrook
1987 Quarter-final  New Zealand 30–3  Scotland Lancaster Park
1991 Pool B  Scotland 47–9  Japan Murrayfield
1991 Pool B  Scotland 51–12  Zimbabwe Murrayfield
1991 Pool B  Scotland 24–15  Ireland Murrayfield
1991 Quarter-final  Scotland 28–6  Western Samoa Murrayfield
1991 Semi-final  Scotland 6–9  England Murrayfield
1991 Third-place play-off  Scotland 6–13  New Zealand Cardiff
1995 Pool D  Ivory Coast 0–89  Scotland Rustenburg
1995 Pool D  Scotland 41–5  Tonga Pretoria
1995 Pool D  France 22–19  Scotland Pretoria
1995 Quarter-final  New Zealand 48–30  Scotland Pretoria
1999 Pool 1  Scotland 29–46  South Africa Murrayfield
1999 Pool 1  Scotland 43–12  Uruguay Murrayfield
1999 Pool 1  Scotland 48–0  Spain Murrayfield
1999 Quarter-final play-off  Scotland 35–20  Samoa Murrayfield
1999 Quarter-final  Scotland 18–30  New Zealand Murrayfield
2003 Pool B  Scotland 32–11  Japan Townsville
2003 Pool B  Scotland 39–15  United States Brisbane
2003 Pool B  France 51–9  Scotland Sydney
2003 Pool B  Scotland 22–20  Fiji Aussie Stadium
2003 Quarter-final  Australia 33–16  Scotland Brisbane
2007 Pool C  Scotland 56–10  Portugal Saint-Étienne
2007 Pool C  Scotland 42–0  Romania Murrayfield
2007 Pool C  Scotland 0–40  New Zealand Murrayfield
2007 Pool C  Scotland 18–16  Italy Saint-Étienne
2007 Quarter-final  Argentina 19–13  Scotland Stade de France
2011 Pool B  Scotland 34–24  Romania Invercargill
2011 Pool B  Scotland 15–6  Georgia Invercargill
2011 Pool B  Argentina 13–12  Scotland Wellington
2011 Pool B  England 16–12  Scotland Auckland


Gavin Hastings is by far the most successful Scottish world cup player, and has gained a number of records.


Most overall points in final stages
Points Name Country[1] App. Tries Con. Pen. Drop. Tournament
227 Gavin Hastings (second position)  Scotland 13 9 39 36 1987, 1991, 1995
Key: App = Appearances. Con = conversions. Pen = penalties. Drop = drop goals.


Most overall conversions in final stages

Penalty goals

Most penalties in a match



Note, under the current points system of rugby union, France would have beaten Scotland 23-22 in the 1987 match.

Nil points


Scotland has never been the main host of the World Cup, but a number of Rugby World Cup games have been played in Scotland over the years. When World Cups have been in the Northern Hemisphere, Scotland has hosted games. All northern hemisphere tournaments have been in Europe so far.

Second World Cup - 1991: England/Wales/Scotland/Ireland/France

The 1991 Rugby World Cup final was played in England, pool and finals games were played all over the main five European nations. Pool B games, which involved European nations, Scotland and Ireland, had all their games in either Dublin or Edinburgh with one game being played in Ulster.

Fourth World Cup - 1999: Wales

The 1999 World Cup was hosted by Wales with some games spread across Scotland, England, Ireland and France. All Pool A games were held in Scotland. Second round play-offs and the quarter-finals were held at a variety of European venues.

Sixth World Cup - 2007: France

The 2007 competition was held in France, with some games played in Wales and Scotland. Two Pool C matches were held at Edinburgh's Murrayfield.[2]


The host for the 2015 tournament will be England, it has yet to be decided whether any games will be played in Scotland.


The host for the 2019 tournament will be Japan, so no games will be held in Scotland.


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