Sweet Chariot

Ian Robertson

Every four years the elite countries in world rugby battle for the Webb Ellis Cup. First contested in 1987 when it was won by New Zealand, it has been retained in the southern hemisphere ever since: Australia in 1991 and 1999, South Africa in 1995. After beating all three major southern hemisphere countries in the past 12 months, both at home and away, England must now have their best chance of taking the trophy since they lost to Australia at Twickenham in the 1991 final, while the other home countries of Scotland, Ireland and Wales will be presented with their greatest ever rugby challenge.Australia will always be difficult to beat on their home patch but are rebuilding at present, South Africa, meanwhile, will be battling to restore some of the rugby pride that has been badly battered by a succession of heavy defeats. As ever, the All Blacks look to be the strongest opposition and will still be smarting from their first ever home defeat by England. The tournament kicks off in October and the final will be played in Sydney on 22nd November. THE COMPLETE BOOK OF RUGBY WORLD CUP 2003 will tell the story of the competition from the opening ceremony to the presentation of the Cup, with details of every game played and photographs of all the action on and off the field. Leading rugby writers will provide their own insight into team and individual performances and editor Ian Robertson will be gathering comments from players, managers and coaches as the tournament unfolds. Over 100 photographs will recapture the excitement and the emotions of a World Cup and the book will also feature a detailed statistical summary. A vast number of supporters from all the home counties will be following their teams in Australia and THE COMPLETE BOOK OF RUGBY WORLD CUP 2003 will be published almost as soon as they return after the final. This information-packed tome will be a lasting souvenir of a memorable tournament - whoever the winners may be.


Ian Robertson was a Scottish international fly-half and has been the BBC's rugby correspondent for a number of years. He has edited books on the last three Lions tours, including Wounded Pride (Mainstream 2001). This is his fourth COMPLETE BOOK OF RUGBY WORLD CUP.