Is home advantage in test rugby a myth?


The story includes some good facts, I am nor sure if the graphic works. From a visual perspective I am not sure why you show a line for losses, but a block for draws and victories. Is there a reason for this? I am also not sure if I understand how you came from 16 matches won out of 19 is a win ratio of 75%. I think you needed to find a different set of data to make your point, or explained your graph with a bit more detail in the text.


If the statistics in 2019 were anything to go by, then you would have to say no. Out of 19 test matches in the calendar year, only three teams lost at home. That’s a 75%-win ratio for the home side.

However, if you dive deeper into the figures, I’m sure Japan would have a lot to say. The host nation for the 2019 rugby World Cup were knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the tournament losing to eventual winners South Africa.

Host nations have only won the World Cup three times out of nine attempts equal to 33% with Wales holding the worst record back in 1991 when they were only able to muster up one win from three attempts.

On two separate occasions the host nations have been dumped out of the competition in the group stages being Wales in 1991 along with England at the 2015 World Cup when the red and whites stumbled out with two wins and two losses.

A Graph on the performance of the host nations at the World Cup

In 1991, hosting was split between five home nations and all of them failing to take home silverware. England were knocked out in the final, Ireland reached the third-place play-off, Scotland made it to the quarter finals and as previously mentioned Wales were booted out in the group stage.

What is particularly interesting is that on two occasions the furthest traveling team have become the eventual winners in the case of New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand had to travel over 11,000 miles for the competition in 2015, while in 1991, Australia had to travel almost 9,500 miles for their victory over England in the final.