2011 Rugby World Cup Teams
Twenty teams will compete for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011. The teams competing in the tournament are broadly divided into two tiers, with the top ranked teams in the world qualifying automatically for the tournament based on their performances at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, while the remaining eight teams are ‘second tier’ nations that are required to qualify for the Rugby World Cup via regional tournaments.
Twelve teams qualified automatically for the 2011 Rugby World Cup by finishing the group stage of the 2007 tournament amongst the top three in their particular pool. These teams represent the traditional powers of rugby union, and it is one of these that is likely to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy in Auckland in 2011.
The remaining eight places at the 2011 Rugby World Cup are allocated according the results of a series of regional qualifying tournaments. While these 2011 Rugby World Cup teams are highly unlikely to challenge for the William Webb Ellis trophy, they add colour and diversity to the tournament and several have proven themselves capable of pushing top teams all the way in the past.