The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
The winners are awarded the Webb Ellis Cup, named after William Webb Ellis, the Rugby School pupil who, according to a popular legend, invented rugby by picking up the ball during a football game. Four countries have won the trophy; New Zealand and South Africa three times, Australia twice, and England once. South Africa are the current champions, having defeated England in the final of the 2019 tournament in Japan.
The tournament is administered by World Rugby, the sport's international governing body. Sixteen teams were invited to participate in the inaugural tournament in 1987, however since 1999 twenty teams have taken part. Japan hosted the 2019 Rugby World Cup and France will host the next in 2023.
On 21 August 2019, World Rugby announced that gender designations would be removed from the titles of the men's and women's World Cups. Accordingly, all future World Cups for men and women will officially bear the "Rugby World Cup" name. The first tournament to be affected by the new policy will be the next women's tournament to be held in New Zealand in 2021, which will officially be titled as "Rugby World Cup 2021".
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