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A former England back-row forward and occasional prop, who is perhaps best remembered for his part in the successful delivery of the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.

Appointed chairman of the organising committee, it was John Kendall-Carpenter who personally chose and named the Webb Ellis Cup, now the most cherished prize in world rugby. Having shown great leadership as rugby entered unknown territory, Kendall-Carpenter was set to perform the same role at RWC 1991 but sadly passed away a year before the tournament kicked off.

A pilot with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War, Kendall-Carpenter enjoyed a distinguished playing career. Born in Wales but raised in Cornwall, he won 23 caps for England from 1949-54, captaining the side three times. He also captained his county and Oxford University, where he was on the winning side in all three of his Varsity match appearances.

Kendall-Carpenter was elected president of the RFU in 1980-81 and Chairman of the International Rugby Football Board in 1988-89.

  • Players View

    The World Cup is more than just participation in a series of rugby matches; it is as much concerned with bringing diverse nations together from all corners of the world in rugby friendship.

    -John Kendall-Carpenter