THE most memorable Rugby World Cup moment of all time is Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal winner in the last seconds of the final in 2003, according to a poll.
Jonah Lomu steamrolling England with four tries in 1995 came second in the vote by 1,500 fans, followed by England’s reaction to the All Black’s haka in 2019.
Jonny Wilkinson kicks the winning drop goal in 2003[/caption]
Jonah Lomu starred against England in 1995[/caption]
Japan shocking the world by beating South Africa in 2015, and Nelson Mandela handing Francois Pienaar the Webb Ellis cup back in 1995 rounded out the top five.
The research found 81 per cent plan on tuning in to this year’s World Cup – with just 15 per cent predicting England to come out on top.
Its spokesperson said: “The Rugby World Cup has had its share of memorable moments down the years.
“Our research shows just how far back its history now goes, with many of the top moments harking back to the early 90s, not long after the tournament was created.
“But it’s no surprise – and totally deserved – that Jonny’s iconic drop goal is what’s come out on top.
“We’d bet that even to this day, he doesn’t have to buy a pint for himself in any rugby club across the country.”
New Zealand were deemed the side most likely to win this year’s tournament, with 27 per cent of the vote.
South Africa were only fourth-favourite, coming behind England and France, with Ireland deemed fifth most likely to triumph.
However, 73 per cent believe France being the host nation will give them an advantage over the other sides.
The hosts’ fightback against New Zealand in 1999 also appeared in the top 20 list of iconic World Cup moments.
Nearly a tenth (nine per cent) cast their minds back to the moment Western Samoa shocked Wales in 1991.
And 84 per cent are hopeful of seeing some more iconic moments this time around, according to the OnePoll.com data.
The study also found most rugby fans are far more passionate about international games than club matches (50 per cent compared to 11 per cent).
However, exactly six in 10 confess to being something of a “fair-weather” rugby fan – only paying attention during big tournaments.
Lottoland’s spokesperson added: “The great thing about a big tentpole tournament like the World Cup or Six Nations is that everyone can get behind it.
“Even people who don’t normally watch the sport can get involved via our Sportsbook or go to the pub and soak in the excitement with a crowd.
“Rugby is famous for its welcoming atmosphere, and if one young person watches this World Cup and is hooked for life – that can only be a good thing.”
THE 20 MOST MEMORABLE RWC MOMENTS OF ALL TIME
1. Jonny Wilkinson kicks a last minute winner for England – 2003
2. 21-year-old Jonah Lomu steamrolls England with four tries – 1995
3. England’s reaction to New Zealand’s Haka – 2019
4. Japan shocks the world by beating South Africa – 2015
5. Mandela hands Pienaar the trophy – 1995
6. Nigel Owens appointed as first openly gay referee – 2007
7. New Zealand’s Haka vs Tonga’s Sipi Tau – 2011
8. Chester Williams ‘The Black Pearl’ the first non-white player to represent South Africa – 1995
9. Wales beating Australia in the play-offs for their best ever World Cup finish – 1987
10. Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s first black captain, lifts trophy – 2019
11. Stephen Jones try for Wales against England in the quarter-final – 2003
12. France’s fight back against New Zealand – 1999
13. Wales shocking knockout to Fiji in the group stages – 2007
14. New Zealand skipper David Kirk lifting the first ever World Cup – 1987
15. Ireland conceding a late penalty to lose to Australia in the quarter finals – 1991
16. Western Samoa victory shock over Wales – 1991
17. Argentina finishing third beating hosts France in the play-off – 2007
18. Serge Blanco knocking Australia out in the dying seconds for France – 1987
19. USA’s Takudzwa Ngwenya outpacing South Africa’s Bryan Habana – 2007
20. Australia’s David Campese named man of the tournament – 1991