Definitions for "1999 Rugby World Cup"
The 1999 Rugby World Cup which was hosted by Wales, broke new ground as for the first time the big eight nations did not qualify automatically. Only the champions, the runners-up, the third place play-off winners from 1995 and the host nation were afforded that luxury. This meant that South Africa, New Zealand, France and Wales were assured of their places in the expanded 20-team tournament with 63 nations taking part in the qualification process for the other 16 places.