Since the inception of the Rugby World Cup in 1987, a total of 69 players have scored three tries or drop goals (a hat-trick) in a single match. The first player to achieve the feat was Craig Green, who scored four tries in New Zealand's 74–13 victory over Fiji during the 1987 Rugby World Cup. His teammate John Gallagher also scored four tries in this match. Besides Green and Gallagher, 15 players have scored more than three tries in a match; of these, Chris Latham and Josh Lewsey have scored five, while Marc Ellis scored six in New Zealand's 145–17 victory against Japan in 1995. Two of Ellis's teammates, Eric Rush and Jeff Wilson, also scored hat-tricks in this game. Five players have scored a hat-trick of drop goals: Jannie de Beer, Jonny Wilkinson, Juan Martín Hernández, Theuns Kotzé and George Ford. Of these, de Beer scored the most in one match, with five drop goals in South Africa's 44–21 victory over England in the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
Hat-tricks are more likely to occur in the pool stages, where higher ranked teams, such as New Zealand, who have scored fourteen World Cup hat-tricks, face lower ranked opposition, such as Namibia, who have conceded hat-tricks on ten occasions. There have only been six hat-tricks in the World Cup knockout stages: Chester Williams and Jonah Lomu in 1995, de Beer in 1999, Wilkinson in 2003, and Julian Savea and Adam Ashley-Cooper in 2015.
Six players have scored two World Cup hat-tricks, Savea being the only one to have scored both in the same tournament. Of the six teams in the Six Nations and four in the Rugby Championship teams, only Italy have failed to score a hat-trick at the World Cup. Fiji, Namibia and Samoa are the only other teams to score a hat-trick, which were scored by Vereniki Goneva, Kotze and Alesana Tuilagi, respectively. Goneva and Kotze's hat-tricks are the only time players on opposing teams have accomplished this feat in the same match at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Unless noted otherwise, the players listed below scored a hat-trick of tries.
|D3||Player scored hat-trick of drop goals|
|D5||Player scored five drop goals|
|T4||Player scored four tries|
|T5||Player scored five tries|
|T6||Player scored six tries|
|Jeff Wilson||2||1995, 1999|
|Vincent Clerc||2||2007, 2011|
|Bryan Habana||2||2007, 2015|
|Adam Ashley-Cooper||2||2011, 2015|
|Cobus Reinach||2||2019, 2023|
By national team
- "Statsguru / Test matches / Player records / Rugby World Cup / Tries scored: greater than or equal to 3". ESPN Scrum. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- "Most drop goals – Rugby World Cup". ESPN Scrum. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- "Fiji 49–25 Namibia". BBC Sport. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "New Zealand 74–13 Fiji". World Rugby. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- Schofield, Daniel (23 September 2015). "New Zealand will give Namibia 'total respect', says All Blacks head coach". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "Japan 17–145 New Zealand". World Rugby. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- Kitson, Robert (25 October 1999). "South Africa 44–21 England". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- Hamilton, Tom (25 September 2015). "Chester Williams on his 'almost impossible dream' to become a Springbok". ESPN. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "New Zealand 45–29 England". BBC Sport. 24 September 2003. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "England into World Cup final". BBC Sport. 16 November 2003. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- Pearson, Joseph (18 October 2015). "Records tumble in All Blacks' Rugby World Cup quarterfinal win over France in Cardiff". Stuff NZ. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- Kitson, Robert (25 October 2015). "Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper sees off Argentina with hat-trick". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- Dirs, Ben (14 September 2011). "Samoa 49–12 Namibia". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2015.