Today, the Test game is geared towards World Cup success, but which teams have stepped up to the plate on rugby's biggest stage?
While New Zealand have lifted the Webb Ellis Cup twice - both times on home soil - they are often accused of peaking at the wrong time, and "choking" when the global tournament rolls around every four years.
France have never won a World Cup, yet have reached the final on three occasions, and often prove the Kiwis' nemesis.
And what of England, South Africa and Australia, who may not dominate the global scene in the same omnipotent fashion as the blacks, but still succeed when the chips are down and the rugby world is watching?
Our friends at Bleacher Report have put together a definitive ranking for the top 20 teams at the World Cup.