Watch how New Zealand won the very first Rugby World Cup (10.09)

This was the first global gathering of the world's rugby tribes, and as such was keenly anticipated. While it cannot be said that the tournament captured the world's imagination, it was an oval-shaped feast for rugby fans around the globe. There was no qualification process to reach the tournament, with the 16 nations each being invited by the International Rugby Board. South Africa were notable in their absence, not invited due to the political conditions of the apartheid era.

John Kirwan

The big, crew-cutted winger John Kirwan just shaded player of the tournament, thanks to his six tries and the try of the tournament, his 90-yard, stepping and swerving solo effort where he seemingly beat the entire Italian team.

Player Matches Points
GJ Fox (NZ) 6 126
MP Lynagh (Aus) 6 82
AG Hastings (Sco) 6 82
D Camberabero (Fra) 6 53

Serge Blanco

Semi-final in Sydney, Australia v France. With only a couple of minutes remaining, and the scores locked at 24-24, Laurent Rodriguez fed fullback Serge Blanco who out-paced four defenders to score in the corner.

Player Matches Tries
CI Green (NZ) 5 6
JJ Kirwan (NZ) 6 6
MP Burke (Aus) 5 5
JA Gallagher (NZ) 5 5
ESPN Scrum

Host nations New Zealand and Australia
Dates May 22 - June 20
No of nations 16
Champions New Zealand
Runners-up France
Matches played 32