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 different 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.
|South Africa||Danie Craven|
|France||Pierre de Coubertin|
|New Zealand||Wilson Whineray|
|New Zealand||1888–89 New Zealand Native football team|
|Scotland||Melrose Rugby Football Club|
|New Zealand||Joe Warbrick|
|South Africa and Argentina||Fairy Heatlie|
|Ireland||Willie John McBride|
|South Africa||Bennie Osler|
|South Africa||Frik du Preez|
|United Kingdom||Barbarian Football Club|
|Wales||Cardiff Rugby Football Club|
|England||William Percy Carpmael|
|New Zealand||Dave Gallaher|
|South Africa||Kitch Christie|
|New Zealand||David Kirk|
|New Zealand||Richard Littlejohn|
|New Zealand||Brian Lochore|
|New Zealand||Jonah Lomu|
|South Africa||François Pienaar|
|South Africa||John Smit|
|South Africa||Jake White|
|United States||1920 United States Olympic rugby team|
|Romania||1924 Romania Olympic rugby team|
|United States||1924 United States Olympic rugby team|
|New Zealand||Gordon Tietjens|
|England||Alfred St. George Hamersley|
|Soviet Union||Vladimir Ilyushin|
|Australia||Thomas Lawton, Snr|
|United Kingdom||Robert Seddon and the 1888 British Lions|
The 2014 class of inductees included six women.
|New Zealand||Fred Allen|
|New Zealand||Don Clarke|
|New Zealand||Grant Fox|
|New Zealand||Sean Fitzpatrick|
|New Zealand||Michael Jones|
|New Zealand||Ian Kirkpatrick|
|New Zealand||John Kirwan|
|New Zealand||Terry McLean|
|New Zealand||Colin Meads|
|New Zealand||Graham Mourie|
|New Zealand||George Nepia|
|France||Nathalie Amiel[n 1]|
|England||Gill Burns[n 1]|
|United States||Patty Jervey[n 1]|
|England||Carol Isherwood[n 1]|
|New Zealand||Anna Richards[n 1]|
|New Zealand||Farah Palmer[n 1]|
|South Africa||Danie Gerber|
|South Africa||Hennie Muller|
|South Africa||Joost van der Westhuizen|
|South Africa||Morne du Plessis|
|South Africa||Naas Botha|
|South Africa||Nelson Mandela|
| Australia and
|Canada||Heather Moyse[n 1]|
|England||Maggie Alphonsi[n 1]|
There were five names added to the Hall of Fame in 2017.
|United States||Phaidra Knight[n 1]|
There were five names added to the Hall of Fame in 2018.
|New Zealand||Bryan Williams|
|Wales||Liza Burgess[n 1]|
There were six names added to the Hall of Fame in 2019.
|New Zealand||Richie McCaw|
|South Africa||Os du Randt|
|New Zealand||Graham Henry|