Michael Donaldson crunches the numbers on the Rugby World Cup and comes up with a formula for winning the Webb Ellis Trophy.

Only four nations have lifted the Rugby World Cup (New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and England) and only five nations have made the final (add France). Is rugby that predictable? Here's a look at what history tells us about the previous winners.

Come from the Southern Hemisphere

It goes without saying that Southern Hemisphere teams win the bulk of World Cups. So, if you're in the market for a winner there's seven out of eight chance that the


Have a world ranking inside in the top two - with one notable exception

Lose one or two games in the lead-up


Have an average age of 27 or 28

Have a lot of caps

Have a 10-year veteran

Have fresh faces

Have an experienced loose forward trio

Lose in the previous quarter-final

Crunching the numbers: