Rugby World Cup could have joint hosts in 2027 and 2031, says governing body
The men’s Rugby World Cup could be shared by joint hosts in 2027 and 2031, the game’s global governing body has said.
France is due to stage the 2023 tournament and World Rugby has just officially opened the bidding process for the next two instalments.
“We recognise that for some of our members hosting a Rugby World Cup on its own is such a big undertaking that actually joint-nation bids, or multi-territory bids, are certainly something we are open to,” said chief operating officer Alan Gilpin. “We have had discussions around that with several interested parties.”
The multi-host model has become increasingly popular in sport as potential bidders reconsider the vast expense of staging the biggest events. Covid-19’s impact on revenues in the sport industry has made the environment even more challenging.
Football’s 2026 World Cup is due to be shared between the USA, Canada and Mexico. Euro 2020 was set to take places across 12 cities in as many countries, although that model is in doubt for the delayed tournament.
Who are the likely Rugby World Cup bidders?
Australia, Russia and Argentina are expected to bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup. USA has been touted as possible hosts in 2031. World Rugby is set to select hosts for both tournaments simultaneously in May 2022.
“There is strong interest, really strong interest, which is great. So, that is our starting point and we are really thrilled,” Gilpin told Reuters.
Running parallel bidding processes for 2027 and 2031 may boost the prospects of a non-traditional rugby nation, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said last year.
World Rugby selected Japan for 2019 in part because they had the assurance of England hosting in 2015, Gosper said.
Japan proved a huge success, generating $5.62bn in economic output and adding $3bn to Japan’s GDP.