Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks legend Richie McCaw's starring role in opening ceremony

All Blacks great Richie McCaw has lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy once more time at the 2019 Rugby World Cup opening ceremony.

At Tokyo Stadium, the former skipper appeared in the middle of the field, holding the trophy aloft - just as he had done twice before in similar surroundings, cheered on by a near-capacity crowd.

The two-time World Cup winner then walked over to a stage, waving to the fans, before placing the trophy - fondly known as 'Bill' - on a stand.

He walked away, pausing for one last glance, before leaving it under a spotlight and walking into the darkness. 

The opening ceremony took the crowd and the viewers on a journey through the history of rugby in Japan, as children gathered around a model of Mount Fuji and sang, as the participating countries were introduced. 

Hundreds of dancers showed their skills and drummers joined them on stage to complete the performance. 

To conclude the event, World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont addressed the crowd by saying: "It's the moment we've all been waiting for - the Rugby World Cup, the first in Asia!

"Over the next six weeks, we will experience the very best of rugby and the very best of Japan."

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