It's been almost 30 years since the first Rugby World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand back in 1987.

With the latest world cup set to kick-off on Friday, the Trinity Mirror Data Unit have taken a look back to see how the competition has changed over the years.

The first tournament averaged as many as seven tries per game. That's a much higher average than the 5.5 per game seen last time round in 2011. However, despite the drop between the first and most recent tournaments, the number of tries per game hasn't been steadily declining, it's been fluctuating.

The 1991 tournament averaged 4.6 tries per game. Both the 1995 and 1999 competitions averaged 5.9 per game. In 2003 the average was 6.9 per game, and in 2007 it was 6.1 per game.

The number of penalties scored per game has remained relatively steady through the years, but did peak in 1999.

In 1987 an average of four penalties were scored every game.

That remained the same in 1991, went up to five per game in 1995 and has averaged 4.2, 3.8 and 3.6 per game in each of the last three world cups.

It seems as though 1999 was the year of the kickers though, with an average of 6.1 penalties being scored per match.

That year saw as many as six games where 10 or more penalties were scored - Argentina v Samoa (11), Argentina v Japan (11), Argentina v Ireland (14), England v South Africa (12), Australia v South Africa in one of the semi-finals (14), and the Australia v France final (11)

Penalties were even more prevalent in the knockout stages of 1999 than they were in other years. Matches in the 1999 knockout rounds averaged 8.5 penalties per match, far higher than the 6.5 and 5.4 seen in the knockout rounds of 1995's and 2003's respectively.

It's a similar story with drop goals as well.

Each of the 1987, 1991, 1995 and 2003 competitions averaged 0.5 drop goals per game. In 2007 that average was as low as 0.3 and in 2011 it was 0.4. In 1999 though it was as high as 0.6 dop goals per game.

However, the group games that years saw an average of just 0.2 drop goals per match compared to the 1.7 per game scored in the knockout rounds.