The 1968 Rugby League World Cup tournament was the fourth staging of the Rugby League World Cup and was held in Australia and New Zealand during May and June in 1968. Contested between Australia, Great Britain, France and New Zealand, for the first time a final to determine the World Cup was specifically pre-arranged (previous finals having only been used when teams were level on points). The group match between Great Britain and Australia attracted an attendance of 62,256, the highest for a rugby league World Cup match until 1992. The final was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground; a crowd of 54,290 watched Australia defeat France. The stars of a superb Australian team in the tournament were skipper Johnny Raper, second-rower Ron Coote, who scored spectacular tries in each and every game, and the dead-shot kicker Eric Simms, who harvested a record 25 goals (50 points).
The 1968 World Cup was the first to be played under limited tackles rules, the four-tackle rule applying. Financially it was a profitable venture for the competing nations.
France surprised Britain in a rain-ruined match at Auckland with an uncharacteristically stubborn defensive display and winger Jean Ledru, scoring the winning try to qualify for a World Cup Final showdown against Australia.
The final had been billed a 'debacle' following Great Britain's inexplicable loss to France in Auckland, leaving them to contest the final despite being beaten by Australia seven tries to none two days prior.
The undefeated Australians went into the tournament decider as favourites. However France offered stern resistance and held the Australians to 0–7 at half-time and with quarter of an hour were only 0–12 down before losing 2–20. It was Australia's second World Cup title.