Rugby union trophies and awards

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Rugby union trophies and awards have been given out to teams and participants from the very earliest days of the sport's history. In common with many other sports rugby union has an array of competitions, both domestic international, covering the spectrum of competition structures from season long leagues, to one-off matches. The list below is divided into sections such that trophies and awards competed for by national sides are grouped together, as are those competed for by club and provincial sides. In both cases, the type of award can differ. The award might be a perpetual trophy, which is one competed for in perpetuity by two sides such that on each occasion they meet, which may or may not be on a regular basis, that honour is contested. The award may be one that is given to the winner of a tournament, or as a subset of this, as an award for a particular honour attained in that tournament. Additionally, the sport of rugby union bestows certain honours on individual players, and these too have their own dedicated section below.

Current International Trophies[edit]

Rugby union international trophies
Name of trophy First Contested Last Contested Type Participants and Record Current holders Notes
Webb Ellis Cup 1987 2011 Tournament Trophy World Cup
 New Zealand-2
 South Africa-2
 New Zealand The most prestigious trophy. The Main prize for the Rugby World Cup
Melrose Cup 1993 2013 Tournament Trophy World Cup
 New Zealand-2
 New Zealand The main prize of the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Six Nations Championship Trophy 2000 2014 Tournament Trophy  England-4
Triple Crown 1883 2014 Tournament Honour  England-24
 England The Triple Crown as a term was first recorded in 1884. The cup was known as the invisible cup because no trophy existed until one was commissioned in 2006.
Calcutta Cup 1879 2014 Perpetual Trophy  England-66
 England Named after the Calcutta Football Club which, after disbanding withdrew the club's Silver Rupees from the bank, and had them melted down and made into a cup which they presented to the RFU in 1878, with the provision that it should be competed for annually.
Millennium Trophy
(Irish: Corn an Mhílaoise)
1988 2014 Perpetual Trophy  England-17
 England Contested as part of the Six Nations Championship. It was initiated in 1988 as part of Dublin's millennial celebrations. The trophy in the shape of a horned Viking helmet.
Centenary Quaich 1989 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Scotland-13
 Ireland Awarded as part of the Six Nations Championship. Although the two countries have played each other on 121, the cup[1] has only been presented to the winners of the fixture since 1989.[2]
Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy 2006 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Italy-2
 France Awarded as part of the Six Nations Championship. The trophy, designed by former French international and professional sculptor Jean-Pierre Rives, was awarded for the first time on 3 February 2007 to France as part of the celebrations of the bicentenary of the birth of Italian national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi in Nice.
Rugby Championship trophy 2012 2014 Tournament Trophy  New Zealand-3
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Bledisloe Cup 1931 2014 Perpetual Trophy  New Zealand-42
 New Zealand Named after Lord Bledisloe, the former Governor-General of New Zealand who donated the trophy in 1931.
Mandela Challenge Plate 2000 2014 Perpetual Trophy  South Africa-5
 South Africa It is named after South Africa's first post-apartheid president, Nelson Mandela.
Freedom Cup 2004 2014 Perpetual Trophy  New Zealand-8
 South Africa-2
 New Zealand The trophy is contested between South Africa and New Zealand, during the Tri-nations tournament. It was first contested in 2004, the 10 year anniversary of South African democracy.
Puma Trophy 2000 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Australia-5
Trophée des Bicentenaires 1989 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Australia-13
 France To celebrate the bi-centenaries of Australia and the French Revolution, in 1988 and 1989 respectively, the French Rugby Union donated the Trophée des Bicentenaires to be played in perpetuity between the two countries. It is a bronze sculpture featuring two players in a tackle. Although the trophy dates from 1988, it was first contested in 1989.
Cook Cup 1997 2014 Perpetual Trophy  England-8
 England The cup is named after Captain James Cook
Hopetoun Cup 1998 2013 Perpetual Trophy  Australia-6
 Australia Named after the Seventh Earl of Hopetoun, a Scotsman, who, as the then Governor-General of Australia, presided over the Federation of Australia in 1901.
Lansdowne Cup 1999 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Australia-7
 Ireland Donated by the Lansdowne Club of Sydney, which was named after Lansdowne Road, the home of Ireland rugby for over a century until its demolition in 2007 to make way for Aviva Stadium.
James Bevan Trophy 2007 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Australia-8
Dave Gallaher Trophy 2000 2013 Perpetual Trophy  New Zealand-10
 New Zealand Named after Dave Gallaher, the famous 1905–06 All Blacks captain who was killed in Belgium during World War I. Introduced in 2000, it is awarded to the winner of a selected challenge match in any given year.
Hillary Shield 2008 2014 Perpetual Trophy  England-1
 New Zealand-6
 New Zealand The trophy is named in memory of the New Zealand mountaineer and explorer, Sir Edmund Hillary.
Prince William Cup 2007 2014 Perpetual Trophy  South Africa-7
 Wales Celebrates 100 years of rugby union history between Wales and South Africa. It is named after the Vice Royal Patron of the WRU, Prince William.
Admiral Brown Cup 2012 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Ireland-2
 Ireland Admiral Guillermo Brown was born in 1777 in Foxford, County Mayo. He emigrated at an early age, first to Philadelphia and then to Buenos Aires. He led the Argentinean navy in the wars for independence against the Spanish and Brazilian empires. The Republic of Argentina honors this Irishman as a national hero and many cities, partidos, streets and parks, including clubs and sports stadiums throughout Argentina are named in his honor.
Investec Challenge Cup 2013 2013 Perpetual Trophy  England-1
Tom Richards Trophy 2001 2013 Perpetual Trophy  Australia-1
Free Use British and Irish Lions flag (bordered).pngLions
British & Irish Lions South Africa Series Trophy 2009 2009 Perpetual Trophy  South Africa-1
 South Africa
Killik Cup 2009 2014 Perpetual Trophy Barbarians-5
Int. sides-5
Douglas Horn Trophy 2008 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Canada-0
 Scotland Douglas Horn is the Father of Alan Horn, a board member of Rugby Canada, while the trophy is essentially to recognize the long standing relationship between Canada and Scotland in both the rugby world and international relations.
Antim Cup 2002 2014 Perpetual Trophy  Georgia-8
 Georgia Named after Anthim the Iberian, a native of Georgia who became one of the most important Orthodox ecclesiastical figures in Wallachia, one of the predecessor states of modern Romania.
European Nations Cup 2000 2014 Tournament Trophy  Romania-4
 Georgia European Championship for tier 2 and tier 3 rugby union nations, with winners of each division promoted up to the next and loser demoted down.
Asian Five Nations 2008 2014 Tournament Trophy  Arabian Gulf
 Hong Kong
 South Korea
 Japan Annual international rugby union competition held between the top five Asian sides.
Pacific Nations Cup 2006 2014 Tournament Trophy Current Nations 2014
 United States
New Zealand Junior All Blacks-2
 Fiji and
South American Rugby Championship 1951 2014 Tournament Trophy  Argentina-35
Americas Rugby Championship 2009 2013 Tournament Trophy Argentina Argentina Jaguars-4
CanadaCanada A-0
United StatesUSA Select-0
Argentina Argentina Jaguars
Africa Cup 2000 2013 Tournament Trophy  SA Amateurs-3
 Kenya Organised by the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR), the tournament prior to being renamed the Africa Cup in 2006, was known as the CAR Top 9 and CAR Top 10.

Past International Trophies[edit]

Rugby union international trophies
Name of trophy First Contested Year ceased Type Participants and Record Last holders Notes
Home Nations Championship Trophy 1883 / 1932 1931 / 1939 Tournament Trophy  England-9

The final edition of this tournament in its Home Nations format was in 1939, although it did change in 1932 with the addition of France. Although France withdrew from the competition in 1931 reducing it back to just the Home Nations. France re-entered in 1947, with the tournament returning to the Five Nations Championship format.
Five Nations Championship Trophy 1910 / 1947 1931 / 1999 Tournament Trophy  England-23
The final edition of this tournament in its Five Nations format was in 1999. Although, it did cease in 1931 when France withdrew from the tournament, but re-entered in 1947.
Tri Nations Trophy 1996 2011 Tournament Trophy  New Zealand-10
 South Africa-3
The final edition of this tournament in its original format was in 2011. With Argentina's entry in 2012, the tournament was renamed The Rugby Championship.
Churchill Cup 2003 2011 Tournament Trophy  Canada
England England Saxons-6
Ireland Ireland Wolfhounds-1
 Scotland A
 United States
Argentina Argentina XV
England England Saxons The tournament, whose final edition was held in 2011, was contested by teams from Canada, England, and the United States, and other invited teams. It was named after former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Churchill's mother, Jennie Jerome was an American, born in Brooklyn.
Cornwall Cup 2008 2008 Perpetual Trophy  Australia
CAR Castel Beer Trophy Tournament Trophy
PARA Pan American Championship Tournament Trophy

International Honours not represented by Trophies[edit]

Rugby union Honours
Name of trophy First Contested Last Contested Type Participants (no. of wins in brackets) Current holders Notes
Le Crunch 1906 2014 Perpetual Contest  England-53
 France This is merely a traditional name for the tie. There is no physical trophy.
Grand Slam 2012 Tournament Honour  England
Wooden Spoon 2014 Tournament Honour  England
 Italy This is "awarded" to the team that finishes the Six Nations Championship at the bottom of the table.

Domestic and Club Trophies[edit]

Rugby union domestic and club trophies
Name of trophy First Contested Last Contested Type Image Participants (no. of wins in brackets) Current holders Notes
United Hospitals Cup 1874 Ongoing Tournament United Hospitals Challenge Cup.png Guy's Hospital Crest..pngGKT RFC-50
Imperial Medicals RFC Crest.jpgImperial Medicals RFC-50
Royal Hospitals RFC Crest.gifBarts and The London RFC-24
SGHMSRFC.jpgSt George's RFC-3
Royal Veterinary College crest.jpgRoyal Vets RFC-0
Barts and The London RFC The United Hospitals Challenge Cup is contested by the six medical schools in London and is most notable for being the oldest rugby cup competition in the world.[3]
Waratah Shield
Ranfurly Shield 1902 2013 Domestic challenge
New Zealand New Zealand provinces.
For a list of holders, see Ranfurly Shield#Past shield-holders.
Hawkes Bay Named after Uchter Knox, 5th Earl of Ranfurly, the Governor of New Zealand who donated the trophy to the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1901. The NZRFU decided to award it to the winner of its 1902 season, and then make it subject to a challenge system.
Super Rugby Trophy 2011 2014 Tournament provincial teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa NSW Waratahs
Super 12 Trophy 1996 2004 Tournament provincial teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa Brumbies
Super 14 Trophy 2005 2010 Tournament provincial teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa Bulls
Currie Cup 1892 2013 Domestic
The Currie Cup1.jpg
 South AfricaSouth African provinces
See Currie Cup#Overall winners
Natal Sharks South Africa's premier domestic rugby union competition, featuring teams representing either entire provinces or substantial regions within provinces. Named after Sir Donald Currie, owner of Union-Castle Lines, who instructed the touring British Isles team of 1891 to hand this trophy over to the team in South Africa that gave them the best game.
MacTier Cup 1998 2014 Domestic Canada Rugby Canada Super League
Canada Canadian Rugby Championship
Ontario Blues Prior to 2009, was awarded to the winner of the RCSL. From 2009 onwards, was awarded to the winner of the CRC.
Meads Cup 2006 2013 Domestic New Zealand New Zealand second-level provinces.
See Heartland Championship#Winners.
Mid Canterbury The top-tier trophy awarded in New Zealand's second-level domestic competition, the Heartland Championship. Named after iconic All Black Colin Meads.
Lochore Cup 2006 2013 Domestic New Zealand New Zealand second-level provinces.
See Heartland Championship#Winners.
South Canterbury The second-tier trophy awarded in the Heartland Championship. Named after another All Black great, Brian Lochore.
Hanan Shield
Bouclier de Brennus 1892 2014 Domestic
Bouclier de Brennus.jpg
France French League
For winners see Top 14#Total wins
Toulon Trophy awarded to the winners of the French rugby union domestic league. Named after Charles Brennus, cofounder of France's original rugby governing body, USFSA, who created the shield based on a design by the other cofounder, Pierre de Coubertin. The original trophy is no longer presented. Due to its increasingly battered condition, it was decided in 2003 to restore the trophy and place it on permanent static display. In each season since 2003, with the exception of 2004 when the original was used one final time, a replica of the original shield has been presented.
European Challenge Cup 1996 2014 Tournament Clubs from England England, France France, and Italy Italy always compete, as well as a specially created team from  Romania. Clubs from Ireland Ireland and Wales Wales usually compete as well. Clubs from Scotland Scotland do not start in the competition, but may parachute in from the Heineken Cup. Also, one club from either Spain Spain or Portugal Portugal also qualifies.
For winners, see European Challenge Cup finals.
England Northampton Saints

Also known for sponsorship reasons as the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Heineken Cup 1996 2014 Tournament Clubs from England England, France France, Ireland Ireland, Italy Italy, Scotland Scotland and Wales Wales.
For winners see Heineken Cup records and statistics.
France Toulon Named after the competition's sponsor, Heineken.
Pacific Rugby Cup 2006 2013 Tournament Fiji Fiji Warriors
Fiji Fiji Barbarians
Samoa Upolu Samoa
Samoa Savaii Samoa
Tonga Tau'uta Reds
Tonga Tautahi Gold
Fiji Fiji Warriors


World Rugby Awards[edit]

Halls of Fame[edit]


  1. ^ A "Quaich" is a celtic drinking vessel - see Did You Know? The Quaich.
  2. ^
  3. ^