The World Rugby Hall of Fame (formerly the IRB Hall of Fame) recognises special achievement and contribution to the sport of rugby union. The World Rugby Hall of Fame covers players, coaches, administrators, match officials, institutions and other individuals. The Hall of Fame recognises the history and important contributions to the game, through one or more induction ceremonies that have been held annually except in 2010. The permanent physical home of the Hall of Fame has been based at the Rugby Art Gallery, Museum & Library in Rugby, Warwickshire since November 2016.
The Hall of Fame was introduced by the International Rugby Board (as World Rugby was then known) during the 2006 IRB Awards ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland. The inaugural inductees were William Webb Ellis, who apocryphally caught the ball during a football game and ran with it, and Rugby School, which has left a huge legacy with the game in a number of ways.
The third induction, in which nine figures entered the Hall, was held on 27 October 2009 at Rugby School. The voting process for the class of 2009 was geared toward the history of British and Irish Lions tours to South Africa, the most recent of which took place in that year; all of the candidates were either Lions or Springboks.
For 2011, induction ceremonies were held at various locations around the world, with the year's final ceremony taking place as part of the 2011 IRB Awards on 24 October in Auckland, the day after the Rugby World Cup Final in that city. The inductions at the Auckland ceremony, according to the IRB, were "under the theme of Rugby World Cup founders, visionaries and iconic figures," and were made in three groups—first for the founders of the RWC, then all World Cup-winning captains and coaches through the 2007 World Cup (minus John Eales, inducted in 2007), and finally other iconic players of the World Cup.
The pattern begun in 2011 was repeated in 2012, with six induction ceremonies being held in six countries. As in the two previous induction cycles, the 2012 inductions had an overriding theme; "Rugby - A Global Game". According to the IRB, it "celebrates Rugby’s expansion to become a global sport played by millions of men and women worldwide."
On 31 July 2014, the IRB announced that its Hall would merge with the separate International Rugby Hall of Fame later in 2014. The merger saw the 37 members of the International Hall who had not already been honoured by the IRB formally enter the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014 and 2015. The 2014 class of inductees also included six women.
On 19 November the IRB rebranded as World Rugby, and the Hall of Fame became known as the World Rugby Hall Of Fame.
Nation Inductee South Africa Danie Craven France Pierre de Coubertin Australia John Eales Wales Gareth Edwards New Zealand Wilson Whineray
Nation Inductee New Zealand 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team Scotland Ned Haig Ireland Jack Kyle Scotland Melrose Rugby Football Club Argentina Hugo Porta France Philippe Sella New Zealand Joe Warbrick
Nation Inductee South Africa and Argentina Fairy Heatlie Scotland Bill Maclagan Ireland Willie John McBride Scotland Ian McGeechan Ireland Syd Millar Wales Cliff Morgan Ireland Tony O'Reilly South Africa Bennie Osler South Africa Frik du Preez
The 2014 class of inductees included six women.
There were five names added to the Hall of Fame in 2017.
Nation Inductee Argentina Felipe Contepomi Canada Al Charron England Rob Andrew France Fabien Pelous United States Phaidra Knight[n 1]
There were five names added to the Hall of Fame in 2018.
Nation Inductee Australia Stephen Larkham France Pierre Villepreux Ireland Ronan O'Gara New Zealand Bryan Williams Wales Liza Burgess[n 1]
There were six names added to the Hall of Fame in 2019.
Nation Inductee New Zealand Richie McCaw Japan Shiggy Konno South Africa Os du Randt Samoa Peter Fatialofa New Zealand Graham Henry Uruguay Diego Ormaechea
- International Rugby Hall of Fame – merged into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014 and 2015
- World Rugby Museum – a celebration of the best international players to have played at Twickenham Stadium
- This inductee is a woman.
- IRB Hall of Fame: Objective irb.com
- "World Rugby Hall of Fame: Jonny Wilkinson attends launch". BBC News Coventry and Warwickshire. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- Two inaugural inductees in IRB Hall of Fame irb.com
- Rugby News Service (21 October 2007). "Habana named IRB Player of the Year". International Rugby Board. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
- "IRB Hall of Fame Welcomes Five Inductees". International Rugby Board. 23 November 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
- "Nine inductees to join IRB Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
- "Five French legends into IRB Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Hancock and Cardiff inducted to Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Stars set for glittering finale at IRB Awards" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- "RWC legends inducted into IRB Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Chilean Rugby greats added to IRB Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 2012-05-26. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Rugby greats to join definitive Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- Pengelly, Martin (4 November 2017). "Meet Phaidra Knight: free radical flanker in World". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
- "Ronan O'Gara: Former Ireland and Munster fly-half earns Hall of Fame honour". British Broadcasting Corporation. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
- World Rugby Hall of Fame
- 2009 list of 19th century nominees
- 2009 list of 20th century nominees
- 2009 list of 21st century nominees
- 2008 list of 19th century nominees
- 2008 list of 20th century nominees
- 2008 list of 21st century nominees
- 2007 list of 19th century nominees
- 2007 list of 20th century nominees
- 2007 list of 21st century nominees