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2021 in numbers: Standout statistics from the year in men’s international rugby
As 2021 draws to a close, we look at the numbers behind another enthralling year of men’s international rugby.
Ahead of the New Year we have trawled through the past 12 months in men’s international sevens and 15s rugby to unearth some of the standout statistics.
From the record-breaking All Blacks and Blitzboks to the numbers that gave Antoine Dupont, Marcos Moneta and Will Jordan success at the World Rugby Awards, there is plenty to get your teeth into.
These are the numbers behind another enthralling year of men’s international rugby…
1.86 – rating-point cushion South Africa enjoy ahead of New Zealand at the top of the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini at the end of 2021.
2 – teams (Samoa and Uruguay) that qualified for Rugby World Cup 2023 during 2021.
3 – wins in his first three matches as France captain for World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard Antoine Dupont. Les Bleus beat Argentina, Georgia and New Zealand in November.
Marcos Moneta 🤝 @Barbarian_FC— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) November 23, 2021
Seems like a good fit! 🔥pic.twitter.com/VxnAljsz4w
6 – tries scored by World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC Marcos Moneta during the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.
14 – point deficit Chile overturned against Brazil in the semi-finals of the Sudamérica Rugby Sevens Costa Rica 2021 to win 21-14 and book their place at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022. Ernesto Tcimino scored the decisive try with the last play of the match.
15 – tries scored by All Blacks winger Will Jordan in 2021. The World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year in association with Tudor did so in just 11 test matches.
24 – consecutive HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series victories recorded by South Africa since the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Blitzboks’ Series record run has helped them win four straight tournaments, in Vancouver, Edmonton and Dubai.
37 – how old veteran Springboks fly-half Morne Steyn was when he kicked the series-deciding penalty against the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town. His match-winning intervention was a repeat of the feat he achieved more than 12 years previously in Pretoria.
50 – points Uruguay scored to beat the USA over two legs and qualify for RWC 2023 as Americas 1. Los Teros trailed 19-16 after the first leg in October but won the second 34-15.
65 – points scored by Ireland captain Johnny Sexton during the men’s Six Nations, more than any other player at an impressive average of 16.25 per match.
72 – tests refereed by Romain Poite during an international career that came to an end when he took charge of the match between Scotland and Australia on 7 November.
101 – number of test tries scored by the All Blacks in 2021. The previous record was 92, set by Argentina in 2003.
149 – test matches Alun Wyn Jones has played for Wales, becoming the world record holder for number of appearances for a single country. Jones moved clear of All Blacks legend Richie McCaw when he captained Wales against New Zealand in October.
157 – points scored by Fiji as they secured a second Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. The Flying Fijians combined a ruthless attack with a miserly defence that conceded only 66 points.
185 – HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series points scored by South Africa’s Ronald Brown in 2021.