World Cup History

The first Rugby World Cup was hosted by New Zealand and Australia, from 22nd May to 20th June 1987. New Zealand eventually won the competition 29 - 9, defeating France in the final at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand.

Prior to the 1987 World Cup, which involved 16 nations, there were several attempts to establish a rugby World Cup, dating back to the 1950's, however resistance within the rugby  world delayed the inevitable. Ironically the pivotal vote in deciding to host the first World Cup came from South Africa, despite knowing that they would not part-take in the tournament due to the sporting boycott of South Africa during the Apartheid era.

the web ellis cup awarded to the rugby World Cup winners is named after william webb ellis (1806 - 1872)

the web ellis cup awarded to the rugby World Cup winners is named after william webb ellis (1806 - 1872)

Who Was Webb Ellis?

The Rugby World Cup Trophy is named after the Reverend William Webb Ellis (24 November 1806 – 24 January 1872) was an English Anglican clergyman and the alleged inventor of rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School. According to legend, Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it during a school football match in 1823, thus creating the rugby-style of play. Although the story has become firmly entrenched in the sport's folklore, it is not supported by substantive evidence, and is discounted by most rugby historians as an origin myth.


2011 Rugby World Cup - New Zealand

The 2011 Rugby World Cup Final was a match between France and New Zealand, to determine the winner of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The match took place on 23 October 2011 at Eden Park, in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand won the match 8–7, the slimmest margin by which any Rugby World Cup Final has been decided.

New Zealand were considered to be favourites, as they went into the final unbeaten and the French had lost two pool games, including one to New Zealand. The French team also experienced a player revolt against their coach Marc Lièvremont, confirmed after the tournament by veteran back-rower Imanol Harinordoquy. The match was a close-fought and tight contest with few line-breaks. Each side scored one try and the outcome was determined by kicks – the All Blacks kicked a penalty goal whereas the French managed only the conversion of their try. The result was the lowest score of any final in World Cup history.

By Brett Taylor from Wellington, New Zealand (Game On) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Woodym555 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Woodym555 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

2007 Rugby World Cup - France

The 2007 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match, played on Saturday, 20 October 2007 at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis, Paris. The match determined the winner of the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the de facto world champions for the next four years. The participants in the 2007 final were incumbent champions England and South Africa, who had each won their semi-finals against France and Argentina respectively. The final was refereed by Irish referee Alain Rolland.

The two finalists had met earlier in the competition, during the pool stage, when South Africa won 36–0, so South Africa began the final as the only undefeated team left in the competition. Had England won the competition, they would have become not only the first nation to retain the Rugby World Cup, which they had won in 2003, but the only team to win a final after having lost a game at the pool stage. Winners South Africa became the second country to win two titles, following Australia, who won in 1991 and 1999.