New Zealand may have won the trophy but it was a jubilant World Cup for the 2019 hosts, who claimed the greatest upset in the tournament's history with a 34-32 win over two-time champions South Africa. Sadly, they also became the first team to win three pool games and not make the quarter-finals.
The No. 8 lit up the tournament with play that made him a leading candidate to be player of the World Cup. Scored a brilliant try to get Australia back into the World Cup final.
ENGLAND AS HOSTS
This was hailed as the "best ever" tournament by World Rugby president Bernard Lapasset. Record attendances (2.5 million), a great atmosphere and no trouble. Even after England's exit, spectators kept piling into the stadia so England did win something in the end - the hearts and minds of global fans.
THE ENGLAND TEAM
Catastrophic performances and poor leadership all started with bad selection. England lost to Wales and Australia in Pool A and became the first hosts to fail to reach the knockout rounds. They allowed Wales back into the match when it looked won and the night was capped by Chris Robshaw's bizarre decision not to go for a penalty that could have earned a draw. As it turned out, the draw would have seen them reach the last eight at Wales' expense.
All four semi-finalists - Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa - came from the Southern Hemisphere. It was a first at the World Cup.
The governing body faced strong criticism for publicly stating that Craig Joubert had been wrong to give Australia a last-minute, game-winning penalty in their quarter-final against Scotland.
The South African referee was subjected to abuse but World Rugby's decision to release an unprecedented review of the game caused widespread controversy.
The caveat that Joubert remained one of the best referees in the world did not soften the blow. Still, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper insisted yesterday that the governing body had not meant for Joubert to be "thrown under a bus".