Webb Ellis Cup

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Webb Ellis Cup
Rugby World Cup Trophy.JPG
Awarded for Winning the Rugby World Cup
Presented by International Rugby Board
First awarded 1987
Currently held by  New Zealand
Official website IRB.com

The Webb Ellis Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the Rugby World Cup, the premier competition in men's international rugby union. The Cup is named after William Webb Ellis, who is often credited as the inventor of rugby football. The trophy is silver gilt and has been presented to the winner of the Rugby World Cup since the first competition in 1987. It has been held twice by New Zealand (1987 & 2011), Australia (1991 & 1999) and South Africa (1995 & 2007), and once by England in 2003.

The 38 centimetre trophy weighs 4.5 kg, is gilded silver and is supported by two cast scroll handles.[1] On one handle there is a head satyr, on the other there is head of a nymph. On the face of the trophy, the words International Rugby Football Board and below that arch The Webb Ellis Cup are engraved.[1] The Webb Ellis Cup is also referred to (incorrectly) as the "Webb Ellis Trophy" or colloquially as "Bill", a nickname coined by the 1991 Rugby World Cup winners, the Wallabies.


There are two official Webb Ellis Cups, which are used interchangeably. One cup is a 1906 trophy made by Carrington and Co. of London, which was a Victorian design of a 1740 cup by Paul de Lamerie and the other is a 1986 replica.[2]

John Kendall-Carpenter, former England forward and the organiser of the first Rugby World Cup and Bob Weighill, the secretary of the International Rugby Board also a former England forward, visited Garrard's, the crown jeweller in Regent Street, London.[1] Director Richard Jarvis, brought the particular cup down from the vault and showed it to both of them.[1]

It was chosen for use in February 1987. Ronnie Dawson of Ireland, Keith Rowlands of Wales, Bob Stuart and Dick Littlejohn of New Zealand and the Australians Nick Shehadie and Ross Turnbull approved of the choice of the trophy.[1][3]

It was soon named "The Webb Ellis Cup". New Zealand become the first nation to win the Webb Ellis Cup when they won the 1987 Rugby World Cup. The Webb Ellis Cup has been held by four nations; New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England.

The current holders are New Zealand after narrowly beating France 8-7 in the 2011 Final in Auckland. The trophy was until recently on display in Newlands, South Africa, where it had stayed for two years following the victory. Last year it was returned to the home of the IRB, Ireland. One cup recently went on tour around the New Zealand provinces along with the Dave Gallaher Trophy, Bledisloe Cup, Hillary Shield, Women's World Cup, Rugby Sevens World Series and the Junior World Cup trophies.


  1. ^ a b c d e "The History of the William Webb Ellis Cup". wesclark.com. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  2. ^ "RWC 2011: Webb Ellis trophy in NZ one of two genuine articles". 3 News. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  3. ^ "Rugby Trophys". rugbyfootballhistory.com. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 

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