The Rugby Unions were fighting a losing battle against professionalism at that time. At the same time a RWC was seen as a step in the wrong direction. The Australian Rugby Union and New Zealand Rugby Football Union submitted written proposals to the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB) in late 1983.
In 1987 the two Unions settled,thereby avoiding any clash with the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, and a vote was held on the proposal at the IRFB meeting in the French capital Paris. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales voted as the IRFB members. It came down in favour of a Rugby World Cup by six votes to two. Selected for the world cup were Australia, England, France, New Zealand, Wales (after being persuaded by their treasurer) and South Africa even though they knew they would not be allowed to play in the tournament due to their political situation (apartheid regime). Ireland and Scotland were against the proposal.
Finally provided the vehicle to establish a 'world champion' and would be held in New Zealand with Australia as co-hosts. 16 teams were split into four pools of four, three of which were based in New Zealand with the other, featuring Australia, hosted in Sydney and Brisbane. Two nations in each pool would progress to the quarter finals. The hosts won the game easily 70-6 and one which went a long way to uniting a country divided by the Cavaliers' tour of South Africa in April 1986.
The Rugby World Cup is now established as the third biggest sporting event behind the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, having achieved its goal of merging the traditional powers with new and emerging nations to make Rugby a truly global sport.