The pinnacle of achievement in international rugby, the William Webb Ellis Cup, or simply the Webb Ellis Cup, carries a rich history and deep symbolic meaning. The cup is more than just a trophy – it symbolizes triumph, dedication, and the culmination of rugby’s finest competition, the Rugby World Cup.
Let’s journey through this coveted trophy’s origins, history, and present status.
What is the William Webb Ellis Cup?
The William Webb Ellis Cup is the trophy awarded to the Rugby World Cup winners, the premier international rugby union competition. Named after William Webb Ellis, the trophy recognizes the man often credited with inventing the game of rugby while a student at Rugby School in England.
The Webb Ellis Cup is steeped in history as dynamic and dramatic as the sport it represents. The trophy is named after William Webb Ellis, who, according to rugby lore, invented the game in 1823 when he picked up the ball during a football match and ran with it. This act, a blend of audacity and inspiration, embodies the spirit of rugby.
The Cup was first introduced for the inaugural Rugby World Cup tournament in 1987. Garrard’s, the Crown Jewelers crafted it, made of sterling silver, and gilded in gold. The cup stands at a height of 38cm and is supported by two cast scroll handles, one with the head of a satyr and the other with the head of a nymph.
When was the Webb Ellis Cup made?
The Webb Ellis Cup was specially made for the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 by Garrard’s, the London-based Crown Jewellers.
Who currently holds the Webb Ellis Cup?
South Africa’s national rugby union team, the Springboks, holds Webb Ellis Cup. They won the trophy by defeating England in Japan’s 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
Where is it now?
The Webb Ellis Cup resides with the current champions in the years between each Rugby World Cup. Therefore, following their 2019 victory, the trophy is with the South African Rugby Union. However, in the lead-up to a World Cup, the trophy often goes on a tour, visiting various participating nations as part of the promotional activities for the tournament.
The Webb Ellis Cup carries a legacy, a spirit of a sport born out of bold innovation. The stories that have unfolded in its pursuit, the tears, the joy and the unbeatable team spirit all add to the aura of this ultimate rugby prize. As we look forward to the Rugby World Cup 2023, the saga of the Webb Ellis Cup will continue, etching new stories in the grand narrative of rugby union.
Who has won the Webb Ellis trophy?
Here are the nations that have won the Webb Ellis Cup:
New Zealand: The All Blacks have secured the trophy three times. They were victorious in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and then again in 2011 and 2015. They are the only team to have won the Cup in consecutive tournaments.
South Africa: The Springboks have also hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup three times. Their victories came in 1995, when they hosted the tournament, and again in 2007 and 2019.
Australia: The Wallabies have been World Champions twice. They clinched the trophy in 1991 and 1999.
England: England won their sole Rugby World Cup in 2003, becoming the first – and, as of 2021, the only – team from the northern hemisphere to do so.
Also Check: The List of Rugby World Cup Winners
Please note that the next Rugby World Cup will take place in 2023, and it’s possible that a new nation could join this prestigious list or that one of the existing winners could add to their tally.