After hoisting Webb Ellis Cup twice, Richie McCaw returns trophy in emotional RWC final ceremony

After eight years locked away in the trophy cabinet, former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw returned the Webb Ellis Cup last night to be presented to its new owners, South Africa.

After the final wrapped up, McCaw made his way onto the field in a vehicle alongside Brave Blossoms captain Michael Leitch with the trophy in his hands.

McCaw and the All Blacks held the Webb Ellis Cup for the past eight years after winning it in 2011 on home soil and defending it in England 2015. But the Springboks won the rights to look after it with their 32-12 win over England in last night's final in Yokohama.

McCaw made his way to the podium while World in Union - the anthem of the Rugby World Cup - began to play, making the moment an emotional one for both New Zealand supporters and fans of the game.

The 148-Test flanker played a role in the opening ceremony as well with the trophy, but this time it was a farewell with New Zealand unable to defend their title in Japan.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont soon presented the cup to winning captain Siya Kolisi, who hoisted it high along with a stirring message for fans back home.

"We have so many challenges in our country but we all came together - from different backgrounds and races... to show that we are capable of anything if we work together," Kolisi said.

With last night's win, the Springboks join the All Blacks as the two most successful teams at the World Cup. Both teams have three titles each.