Rugby World Cup: A long and proud history

Springbok captain Francois Pienaar receives the Webb Ellis Cup from South Africa President Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park, Johannesburg. - Image by © Andrew Cowie/Colorsport/Corbis

David Rush, South Coast Herald.

THERE have been seven Rugby World Cups to date.

Well, five if you are South African. Who knows what might have been at the 1987 and 1991 tournaments.

New Zealand won the first one beating France … but it seems it wasn’t taken too seriously, with stories about players having a few beers the night before the final.

However, it did kick-start what is now a massive event.

By 1991 there was a lot more interest. Australia defeated England.

1995 needs no introduction. The fairytale Springbok win over the All Blacks in extra time. Thank you Joel Stransky.

In 1999 Australia beat France in a rather boring final.

In 2003 Jonny Wilkinson drop-goaled and England finally got one over Australia.

The Boks were back in 2007, beating England.

In 2011 New Zealand finally won the trophy again, edging out nemesis France.

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