Rugby World Cup Winners

The Rugby World Cup

The Rugby Union World Cup is contested every four years between the best international Rugby Union teams.

The first World Cup was held in 1987, dual hosted by Australia and New Zealand. 

The winners are awarded the William Webb Ellis Cup, named after the ‘Rugby School’ pupil of the same name who according to legend, invented Rugby by picking up a ball during a football (soccer) game.

Sixteen teams played in the inaugural tournament in 1987, however since 1999 twenty teams have taken part each year.

The current qualification format allows for twelve of the twenty available positions to be automatically filled by the teams who finish third or better in the group stages of the previous World Cup to enter the following tournament (where they will be seeded).

The qualification for the other eight places is region-based, with eight teams allocated for Europe, five for Oceania, three for the Americas, two for Africa, and one for Asia. The final spot is determined by an intercontinental play-off.

The biggest shock upsets in Rugby WC History

Rugby World Cup Winners

Below is a list of Rugby World Cup winners with scorers for the finals and runners-up.

Event Year Winner Runner-Up Score
8 2015 New Zealand Australia 34-17
7 2011 New Zealand France 8-7
6 2007 South Africa England 15-6
5 2003 England Australia 20-17
4 1999 Australia France 35-12
3 1995 South Africa New Zealand 15-12
2 1991 Australia England 12-6
1 1987 New Zealand France 29-9