The Year in Numbers

Date published: December 29 2015

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With help from stattos beavering away in various dark, cobweb-ridden, subterranean data storage rooms around the globe, Planet Rugby looks back at the best – and worst – of 2015 expressed in numerical form.

Unsurprisingly the record-breaking World Cup features heavily in this selection but there's other memorable numbers from both on and off the field that we have picked out in a look back over the past twelve months.

Here we go…

62 – What a finish to the Six Nations. With the title up for grabs on the final day, Wales, Ireland and England went for broke, which meant the total number of tries in 2015's competition rocketed up to 62. It was the highest number of five-pointers in the Six Nations since 2007.

39 – The top try scorers at Rugby World Cup 2015 were unsurprisingly New Zealand. The champions were 11 ahead of nearest rival, Australia.

561 – The top metre maker at the Rugby World Cup was All Black wing Nehe Milner-Skudder. He backed that up with six crossings in his debut season as an international, with his devastating side-step a real highlight in England and Wales.

16 – What a season it was from Exeter Chiefs number eight Thomas Waldrom, who crossed the try-line 16 times in the Premiership campaign.

97 – Did anyone bet on him? Argentina fly-half Nicolás Sánchez was a whopping 50/1 to finish atop the points-scoring charts at the Rugby World Cup. With 97 points he did just that to beat Handré Pollard by four. Conversions, penalties, a drop-goal and a try from the Puma.

8 – The total number of days since being unveiled in the Stormers hot-seat for Eddie Jones to be appointed England head coach. Jones had stated his hopes for the Cape Town-based franchise on a video on their website but then Twickenham came calling after Japan's impressive Rugby World Cup campaign, this after Stuart Lancaster had got the boot. Jones has since opted not to keep on the old coaching team of Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt as a new era awaits England, with Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard announced as newcomers.

2.5 – Fijian star Leone Nakarawa made ten offloads in four games at the Rugby World Cup. That was an average of 2.5 from the superb lock.

2,477,875 – A hefty number which was the total attendance at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Thirteen venues that all enjoyed special fixtures that will live long in the memory for those spectators.

1 – A first PRO12 title for Glasgow as they beat Munster 31-13 at Ravenhill in the final. Hats off to them, they were deserved winners.

51 – The average number of points scored in the 48 matches at the Rugby World Cup. We think you'll all agree it was a special tournament.

913 – That was the number of tackles made by South Africa in this year's Rugby World Cup. That was 70 more than Australia in second place.

17 – Unlucky not to be crowned World Rugby Player of the Year, David Pocock was outstanding in 2015 and incredibly won 17 turnovers at the World Cup. Playing in an unfamiliar position at number eight alongside fellow jackler Michael Hooper, Pocock terrorised all who he faced.

1 – A first Super Rugby title for the Highlanders in 2015 and boy did they deserve it. Granted some may say the Hurricanes were the best team last season but during knockout rugby, the men from Dunedin stepped up to go on and win the final 21-14 in Wellington. A fine season.

14 – Speaking of the Hurricanes, this was the number of victories they picked up in the 2015 season, which equalled the record set by the Stormers in 2012. They played some outstanding rugby throughout the campaign and were deserved finalists who surprised many in the year.

206 – And finally, unfortunately for England these were the total number of minutes Sam Burgess played for his country. The rugby league convert opted to return to the thirteen-man game with South Sydney Rabbitohs after Stuart Lancaster's men had a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign. Burgess cannot be blamed for that after being pulled in two different directions by club and country, as he ultimately decided to move on.

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