The Rugby World Cup is the premier international rugby union competition. The event is organised by the sport’s governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB), and is contested by the men’s national teams. The inaugural tournament was held in 1987, hosted by both Australia and New Zealand, and it is contested every four years. The tournament is one of the largest international sporting competitions in the world.

The winners are awarded the William Webb Ellis Cup. William Webb Ellis was the Rugby School pupil who – according to popular myth – invented the game by picking up the ball during a game akin to one of the many codes of medieval football. South Africa are the current World Champions, having won the 2007 Rugby World Cup final in France on 20 October 2007 with victory over England, the 2003 World Champions. The next Rugby World Cup will take place in 2011 in New Zealand. The hosts for 2015 and 2019 have been announced as England and Japan respectively.

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