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The Webb Eillis 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 three times by New Zealand (1987, 2011 & 2015), twice by Australia (1991 & 1999) and South Africa (1995 & 2007), and once by England in 2003.

Webb Ellis Cup
Rugby World Cup Trophy.JPG
Given forWinning the Rugby World Cup
Presented byWorld Rugby
First award1987
Most recent New Zealand

The 38-centimeter trophy weighs 4.5 kg, is gilded silver and has two cast scroll handles.[1] One handle bears a head of a satyr, the other 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.


The cup and cover by Paul de Lamerie inspired Carrington and Co to design the trophy.

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 1740s cup by Paul de Lamerie, while the other is a 1986 replica.[2]

John Kendall-Carpenter, former England forward and the organizer 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 cared for and restored after each tournament 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.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "The History of the William Webb Ellis Cup". 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". Retrieved 2007-09-12.
  4. ^ Thomas Lyte lifts Webb Ellis Cup
  5. ^ BBC Radio 4: Friday Boss - business presenter Simon Jack interviews Kevin Baker, chief executive, Thomas Lyte

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