Rugby World Cup
The best national teams from all around the world compete in the Rugby World Cup, a competition for men’s rugby union that is held once every four years. World Rugby, the worldwide governing body for the sport, is the organization in charge of running the competition. The trophy is called the Webb Ellis Cup and it is named after William Webb Ellis, who, according to a well-known urban legend, is credited with inventing rugby by scooping up the ball when it was being played by football players.
The first competition was held in 1987, when New Zealand and Australia took turns acting as hosts for the event. The trophy has been won by four countries: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and England once each. New Zealand and South Africa have each won it three times. Following South Africa’s victory against England in the tournament final in 2019, South Africa is the reigning tournament winner.
From 1987 to 1995, there were sixteen teams competing in the event; however, beginning in 1999, there have been twenty teams competing in each tournament. Japan was the host nation for the Rugby World Cup in 2019, and France will be the host nation for the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
In an effort to foster a sense of parity between the men’s and women’s versions of the sport, the name of the women’s competition was changed to the Rugby World Cup in 2021.
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