The Rugby World Cup in France was a "resounding success on every level", organisers have claimed ©Getty Images

The Rugby World Cup in France was a "resounding success on every level", organisers have claimed.

The men's tournament reached its conclusion on Saturday (October 28) when South Africa defeated New Zealand 12-11 to defend the trophy and lift it for the fourth time.

World Rugby said the event will "leave a legacy of harmony, growth and sustainable responsibility".

It also claimed that the competition "set new standards on and off the pitch for the men's showcase events leaving a bright legacy for the future tournaments".

France 2023 is said to have been the most attended World Cup ever with a combined four million watching across nine stadia and 10 rugby villages.

Digital and social media impressions reached 3.1 billion, World Rugby said, making it the "most spoken about rugby event ever".

A global broadcast audience of more than 800 million has been reported as well as more than one million news media mentions.

Off the field, €1 million (£873,000/$1.06 million) was raised for tournament charity Rugby au Coeur and 1,400 apprentices were trained across different sectors.

"France 2023 was our greatest celebration of togetherness, and a fitting 200th birthday party for our sport," said World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont. 

"We witnessed compelling action throughout, full stadia and vibrant, engaged host cities. 

"On every level, it smashed records and broke boundaries, but above all, it showcased the best of rugby, the best of friendship and the best of France.

"Congratulations to world champions South Africa, silver medallists New Zealand, bronze medallists England, and to all the teams who captivated and inspired. 

World Rugby said the event will
World Rugby said the event will "leave a legacy of harmony, growth and sustainable responsibility" ©Getty Images

"I would also like to extend special congratulations to the teams behind the teams, our excellent match officials, the welcoming volunteers, wonderful fans from around the world, and of course, the French public who embraced our tournament, and pass it on to Australia enhanced."

France 2023 chairman Jacques Rivoal added: "The France 2023 Organising Committee set itself the objective of delivering the greatest Rugby World Cup ever. 

"Together with World Rugby, and through the excellent work that was done by the France 2023 teams, volunteers, sponsors, host cities and French Government, we have delivered a world class sporting event, giving players and fans the opportunity to experience rugby’s pinnacle in a wonderful atmosphere of celebration.

"Well done to world champions South Africa and thank you to all the participating teams who made history in this 10th Rugby World Cup, both on and off the pitch. 

"Players were available throughout the tournament to engage with local clubs and communities, going beyond what was expected and contributing to the overall positive impact and legacy of Rugby World Cup 2023.

"Finally, we must thank the fans. 

"Hundreds of thousands of international supporters travelled to France to celebrate with millions of French people, creating memories that will last a lifetime. 

"This celebration of togetherness is theirs, and how this Rugby World Cup will be remembered in years to come."