How much does the UK actually know about the Rugby World Cup?

Date published: October 19 2015

We’re almost two thirds the way through the Rugby World Cup and unfortunately for the United Kingdom, there’s nobody left in the competition to represent them. In order to see how much the UK population actually knows about the sport and competition, bwin decided to commission a UK wide survey in every region. Taken just before the start of the competition, it’s not shy to say that the results were incredibly surprising.

Bwin Quizmasters asked respondents 13 questions and provide multiple choice answers to help those without a clue at least some chance of success.

The most staggering insight from the results was that 1 week prior to the competition starting, nearly a third (32%) had no idea that the competition was about to start. Considering the importance and international draw of the competition, perhaps the competition wasn’t marketed significantly domestically in order to drum up the usual buzz that British sporting competitions tend to receive.

Even more surprising was the United Kingdom’s general grasp of the basic laws of the game. More than half surveyed were unable to even guess the correct number of points awarded for a try. A further 44% didn’t know that a game of rugby lasts for 80 minutes in full.

When it came to which regions knew more, it was no surprise that the Welsh (where Rugby is the national sport) consistently came out on top for nearly every knowledge based question. In many instances Wales scored higher than English regions for questions about the English team. For example, nearly half of the UK were unable to pick out Chris Robshaw as the England Rugby Union captain. Embarrassingly 21.5% believed it was still Jonny Wilkinson and even worse, 13.2% guessed that it was BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen TV Chef – James Martin!

Other bizarre insights into our knowledge levels included:

  • 42.7% of the UK had no idea that the Rugby World Cup was actually being hosted in England
  • A third of UK thought that the winner of the Rugby World Cup would receive the “Rugby Bowl” trophy rather than the Webb Ellis Cup
  • A third of Londoners thought that Billy Twelvetrees was a fake name and wasn’t a current England Rugby Union player