With help from stattos beavering away in various dark, cobweb-ridden, subterranean data storage rooms around the globe, Planet Rugby looks back at the best – and worst – of 2019 expressed in numerical form.
69 – The number of points amassed by the 2019 Rugby World Cup’s leading scorer, Springboks fly-half Handre Pollard.
21 – Number of players who have won the Rugby World Cup twice. Springbok Frans Steyn became only the second South African to achieve that feat, after the Boks lifted the Webb Ellis trophy in Japan, along with 14 New Zealanders and five Australians.
3 – The number of European Champions Cup titles won by Saracens after they beat Leinster in the 2019 final at St James’ Park in Newcastle.
5 – World Rugby’s Sevens Series champions Fiji continued their love affair with the Hong Kong Sevens as they were crowned champions at that tournament again for the fifth consecutive year.
6 – Is the number of weeks France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina was suspended for by the World Rugby judiciary after he elbowed Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright in the face during their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Japan in October.
25 – That’s how many seconds it took for Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Nic White to score the fastest try in Premiership Final history. The feat was achieved in his side’s 37-34 defeat to Saracens at Twickenham.
7 – How many times Wales wing Josh Adams crossed the whitewash at the Rugby World Cup which resulted in him finishing as the tournament’s leading try-scorer.
70,000 – Amount in £ the Scottish Rugby Union was fined after chief executive Mark Dodson criticised World Rugby ahead of their encounter against Japan in the Rugby World Cup. The crucial game was under threat to be cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis but did eventually go ahead.
13 – The number of weeks which Cheetahs centre Nico Lee was suspended for after being found guilty for allegedly having “cleared the contents of his nose” onto an opposition player at a ruck during his team’s loss to Connacht in Galway in February.
14 – Springboks wing Makazole Mapimpi is one of the most prolific try-scorers in the game and this number of five-pointers he scored has been achieved in as many Tests during his two-year international career for the world champions.
35 – Represents the number of points which were deducted from Premiership champions Saracens after they were found guilty of breaching that tournament’s salary cap.
36 – Unsurprisingly, the top try scorers at Rugby World Cup 2019 were New Zealand. They were three ahead of their nearest rival, eventual champions South Africa, but the All Blacks played one game fewer after their pool fixture against Italy was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
127 – Represents the number of internationals in which All Blacks number eight and captain Kieran Read played before retiring from Test rugby at the World Cup.
40 – The number of tries scored in the Champions Cup by that tournament’s leading try-scorer, Chris Ashton, in 65 matches for Sale Sharks, Toulon, Saracens and Northampton Saints.
19 – Age of Georgia hooker Vano Karkadze, who was the youngest player in action at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
11 – England lock Maro Itoje was one of the standout players during the Rugby World Cup and he led the way for turnovers won. His total was five more than his nearest rival.
24 – The number of defeats suffered by bottom-placed Perpignan out of 26 matches during the 2018/19 Top 14 season.
73 – That’s the number of Tests Israel Folau played for the Wallabies when his contract was terminated by Rugby Australia for anti-gay posts on social media.
29 – Defenders beaten during the Rugby World Cup by Fiji utility back Semi Radradra – a tournament record even though his side were eliminated after the group stages.
18 – Is the age of Louis Rees-Zammit, the Gloucester wing on his Premiership debut against Bath – the youngest player to be in action in that tournament during the 2018/19 season.