Webb Ellis Cup

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Webb Ellis Cup
Rugby World Cup Trophy.JPG
Awarded for Winning the Rugby World Cup
Presented by World Rugby
First awarded 1987
Currently held by  New Zealand
Official website www.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 thrice by New Zealand (1987, 2011 & 2015), twice by 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 of a satyr, on the other there is the 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, while 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 & Co, 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] The trophy is being cared for and restored after each game by silversmiths Thomas Lyte.[4][5]

It was soon named "The Webb Ellis Cup". New Zealand became 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 beating Australia 34–17 in the 2015 Final in England. The trophy was on display in Newlands, South Africa until 2007, where it had stayed for two years following their victory. Later it was returned to the home of World Rugby, 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.


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