Rugby World Cup: The IMPRESSIVE list of records broken during the 2023 edition

Dylan Coetzee
Split with Sam Whitelock (NZL), Owen Farrell (ENG) and Chile v Argentina.

Split with Sam Whitelock (NZL), Owen Farrell (ENG) and Chile v Argentina.

The Rugby World Cup enters its final weekend of action and what a tournament it has been so far, with it absolutely loaded with thrills and spills on the biggest stage of all.

Before this week ends with the All Blacks v Springboks final, Planet Rugby takes a look at which records have been tied and/or broken during the course of the tournament in France.

Sam Whitelock

The great second-row has had a tournament to remember in 2023 as his longevity has paid off, with the All Black surpassing a number of records.

Most capped All Black: During the World Cup, Whitelock went past the legendary Richie McCaw as the player with the most appearances for New Zealand. He would go on to extend this record by becoming the first All Black to play 150 Tests. The veteran is currently on 152 ahead of the final.

Most appearances in a Rugby World Cup: The New Zealander did not stop there as he rose up the charts of all-time appearances at the tournament with a total of 25, three above the previous record of McCaw and Englishman Jason Leonard.

Most wins in a Rugby World Cup: Whilst Whitelock made all those appearances, he has spent most of the time on the good end of the results with 23 wins from his 25 games in an impressive strike rate.

Breaking ground: He was also the first player to feature in four semi-finals and could create more history by becoming the first player to win three World Cups should New Zealand end up on the right side of the result.

Win record

All Blacks create history: During their run to the final, New Zealand became the first team to notch up 50 wins at the global showpiece.

All-time points

Owen Farrell: The Englishman underlined his status as one of the best to ever wear the Red Rose as he surpassed the great Jonny Wilkinson as the leading all-time points scorer for his country in the pool stage clash with Samoa. A massive achievement from a fantastic player.

Johnny Sexton: The veteran Irishman did not get the send-off he was hoping for after Ireland were bundled out in the quarter-finals, but he had enough time to pass Ronan O’Gara as their leading points scorer of all-time. Simply the best in Irish green and a rugby union legend.


Equalling eight: All Blacks sensation Will Jordan etched his name alongside some of the finest finishers the game has seen as he notched up his eighth try of the tournament against Argentina. This levels him with Jonah Lomu, Bryan Habana and Julian Savea for the most tries in a single tournament. The wing has one more game to get ahead on his own.

Henry Arundell: The young superstar did not have much time on the field throughout the tournament but absolutely seized the day against Chile, scoring five tries in the game. This equalled the England record for most tries in a World Cup game.

Springboks: The holders flexed their muscles in the pool stage where they secured the fastest ever four-try bonus-point, managing the feat in just 12 minutes against Romania.


Wales’ monster haul: Warren Gatland’s side was one of the more impressive teams in the competition considering their form coming in. It started with a gruelling match against Fiji where the Welsh showed tremendous commitment and in doing so broke the record for most tackles in a World Cup game by one team with a ridiculous 252 tackles.

A first time for everything

Wayne Barnes: The most experienced Test referee in history added another accolade to a wonderful career as he became the first person to officiate in five World Cups. An outstanding achievement for the Englishman.

First Portugal win at the Rugby World Cup: Os Lobos gained so many fans during the tournament through their bravery and passion throughout. The side came so close to their first win in the clash with Georgia but had to settle for a draw before they finally got the elusive first victory against Fiji in the final round of pool stage action. A groundbreaking moment for an emerging country.

First all-South American clash at a Rugby World Cup: One of the greatest things about the tournament every four years is that it showcases how widely rugby is spread around the world. In 2023, we saw two South American teams, Argentina and Chile, face off for the first time at the global showpiece. It is a massive moment for the continent and the game as a whole.

Australia: Unfortunately not all records are wanted and that’s the case for Eddie Jones’ Wallabies who became the first Australia side to fail to make the knockouts in World Cup history.


130,000: In what is a more light-hearted record, the tournament organisers confirmed that a whopping 130,000 beers were consumed in a single game, smashing the previous record of 90,000.

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