Australian rugby received a huge boost from World Rugby, being named host of the 2027 Men’s Rugby World Cup and 2029 Women’s Rugby World Cup tournaments.
- Australia has not hosted a Rugby World Cup since hosting the men’s tournament in 2003
- Rugby Australia estimates hosting back-to-back World Cups will inject $1.8 billion into the local economy
- The Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cups will be held in the United States for the first time in 2031 and 2033 respectively
World Rugby confirmed the decision at a board meeting in Dublin on Thursday.
“It’s a historic day for rugby in Australia,” Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said.
“We are more than delighted to be hosting not one, but two Rugby World Cups on our shores.”
Australia, two-time men’s World Cup winners in 1991 and 1999, had already been named as the preferred candidate to host both tournaments.
It last hosted the Men’s World Cup in 2003, losing to England thanks to a drop goal from Jonny Wilkinson in a dramatic final in Sydney.
None of the nine previous editions of the women’s version of the tournament have been held in Australia.
Rugby Australia estimates that hosting back-to-back tournaments will provide an injection of $1.8 billion into the local economy.
Confirmation of the World Cups award will be a welcome boost for Rugby Australia, which has struggled financially in recent years.
Rugby Australia needed a $14m loan from World Rugby last year after pre-existing financial problems turned into a full-blown crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rugby Australia laid off more than 40% of its staff at the start of the pandemic in 2020 – the culmination of a period of horror in which former chief executive Raelene Castle left the organization, she paid a out-of-court settlement to Israel Folau, and he faced a dwindling fan base and allegations of mismanagement from former players.
But with interest from the World Cups in 2027 and 2029, the Commonwealth Games in 2026 and the Brisbane Olympics in 2032, as well as the financial windfall of a British and Irish Lions tour in 2025, Rugby Australia has the chance to recapture the imagination of Public sport.
“Today is an important moment in time for our game,” McLennan said.
“We look forward to working with World Rugby, our member unions and government partners over the coming years to ensure that we make the most of this opportunity and continue the resurgence of rugby in this country.”
Two-time World Cup winner Wallaby Tim Horan wrote on social media that the awarding of the two tournaments is “the most significant moment in Australian rugby history, since winning RWC 1991”.
“Hosting the 2027 Men’s and 2029 Women’s World Cup will increase participation and provide financial security for our game for generations,” he wrote.
World Rugby has also confirmed that the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cups will visit the United States for the first time in 2031 and 2033 respectively.
The United States will be only the second Tier 2 nation to host the men’s world showpiece, following Japan in 2019.
“I speak on behalf of the rugby community and fans across the United States when I express our sincere gratitude to World Rugby for their trust and endorsement of our vision to grow this incredible sport exponentially across our country. “said USA Rugby boss Ross Young.
“USA Rugby will now venture into a new era and ensure that the sport’s most treasured event is a springboard for creating lasting and lasting enthusiasm and passion for rugby from coast to coast. “
The United States won the first Women’s World Cup in 1991 and were beaten in the final in the next two competitions, although their men never reached the quarter-finals.
It has also been confirmed that England will host the 2025 Women’s World Cup as World Rugby set out its schedule for the next decade.
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said the announcement offered “unprecedented certainty and an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the growth and impact of rugby around the world”.
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