Introduction: The Birth of the Rugby World Cup
One notable omission was South Africa, who could not compete due to an apartheid international sports boycott.
New Zealand hosted seventeen pool stage matches, two quarter-finals and the final. Australia hosted seven pool matches, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the third place play-off.
Favourites New Zealand ended winners after a 29-9 victory over France at Eden Park in Auckland.
The All Blacks were captained by David Kirk, who took the armband from Andy Dalton, who succumbed to injury.
Other players who stood out for New Zealand included Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, Grant Fox and Michael Jones.
Sixteen teams participated, seven of which were International Rugby Football Board members. These included Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France.
The Union of Sovient Socialist Republics (USSR) refused the invitation on political grounds due to the continued International Rugby Football Board (IRFB) membership of South Africa.
There was no qualification process for the competition and Argentina, Fiji, Italy, Canada, Romania, Tonga, Japan, Zimbabwe and United States were all sent invitations.
Controversially, Western Samoa were excluded despite showing a higher playing standard compared to some of the other teams invited.
The matches were fairly one-sided with the seven IRFB teams dominating the other sides. In more than half of the 24 pool matches, one team scored at least 40 points or more.
The tournament was heralded as a big success and as a result other countries started to join the International Rugby Football Board.