Rugby World Cup – A Guide & History To A Great Sporting Event

Published: August 15, 2019
Author: Josh Stewart
Last Updated: January 21, 2023

The Rugby World Cup is a rugby Union tournament held every four years. The winners are awarded with the Webb Ellis Trophy, Ellis being the person considered to be the reason that Rugby was invented.  Rugby has become more popular in the betting world with a large number of bookmakers offering a vast range of markets for punters.

 The tournament was first held in 1987 and was co-hosted by both New Zealand and Australia. Sixteen teams competed in that first World Cup but there have been twenty teams involved since 1999. Below is the list of host nations and winners. 

Year Host Winner 
1987 New Zealand and Australia New Zealand 
1991 Europe Australia 
1995 South Africa South Africa 
1999 England & Wales Australia 
2003 Australia England 
2007 France South Africa 
2011 New Zealand New Zealand 
2015 England New Zealand 

Both the 1995 and 2003 finals went to Extra time. South Africa prevailed over New Zealand on their own turf whilst a last minute Johnny Wilkinson drop goal saw England prevail over Australia down under. The next tournament will be held in Japan this year whilst France will be hosting the competition in 2023.  

 Before the Rugby World Cup was put into place there was no real global competition. That said, the Five Nations was in place as early as 1883 but this was only limited to Northern Hemisphere teams. Rugby Union was also in the Olympics in 1900 Paris, 1908 London, 1920 Antwerp and 1924 Paris. France and Australasia bagged the first two before the United States one that last two before it was removed from the Olympic schedule.  

 Countries To Have Appeared At The Rugby World Cup 

 Unlike the football world cup, only a small amount of countries across the world compete in the Rugby World Cup. These countries are as follows: 

  •  New Zealand 
  • Australia 
  • France 
  • England 
  • Ireland 
  • Wales  
  • Scotland 
  • Italy 
  • Argentina 
  • South Africa 
  • Japan 
  • Fiji 
  • Samoa 
  • Canada 
  • Georgia 
  • Namibia 
  • Russia 
  • Tonga  
  • Uruguay 
  • USA 

 Webb Ellis 

 The Web Ellis trophy is named after Ellis, a pupil at Rugby School who was rumoured to have picked up the ball during a football game and  started running. The sport was obviously then named after the school with a vast amount of rules put in place.  

 The Rugby World Cup’s Most Iconic Moment 

 Arguably the most iconic moment in Rugby World Cup history came at the Rugby World Cup of 1995. After the abolishment of the Apartheid system, South Africa were selected to host the 1995 World Cup. South Africa were by no means favourites for the competition but won the final after extra time. When South African President Nelson Mandela presented the trophy to captain Francois Pienaar whilst wearing a Springboks jersey it was possibly the most photographed moment in Rugby history.  


About Josh Stewart

Josh lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and works as a website editor. He has previously worked for several prominent online sites and, as a former professional golfer, specialises in sports and iGaming. Josh has almost a decade of experience as a freelancer and has received excellent reviews from current and previous clients.