Story: Rugby union

John Kirwan, 1987 World Cup

John Kirwan, 1987 World Cup

On 20 June 1987 New Zealand defeated France at Eden Park, Auckland, 29–9 to win the first Rugby World Cup. John Kirwan, shown with the ball during that game, was one of the stars of the tournament. He was a tall, strong and fast wing who scored a famous try, running the length of the field in the first game of the tournament against Italy. In all Kirwan played 63 tests for the All Blacks from 1984 to 1994 and scored 35 tries. Later he became a distinguished rugby coach and a prominent spokesperson for mental health and depression awareness. He was knighted in 2012.

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How to cite this page:

Ron Palenski, 'Rugby union - Rugby World Cup', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 June 2024)

Story by Ron Palenski, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Sep 2016