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Australia the 'safe' option as 2027 Rugby World Cup hosts

By AAP
The Wallabies celebrate after taking out the All Blacks in the 2003 World Cup semi-final. (Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images)

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Australia is positioning its bid as the best, risk-free option in the head-to-head competition with the USA to stage the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

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With Russia and Qatar falling out of the race to succeed France as host for rugby’s global showpiece in six years time, it is now down to the two nations to convince World Rugby of the rightful destination when the decision is made in May next year.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan sees it as a contest between a “safe pair of hands” and the more perilous alternative of awarding it to a tier-two country, which was thrashed 104-14 by New Zealand last month.

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“We’re a known rugby nation, so we have got a rich heritage,” said McLennan in London on Wednesday, stressing the importance of holding the event south of the equator for the first time since 2011.

“Tourists and fans love coming to Australia, so we know we’re a safe pair of hands, will do it professionally and be able to deliver the financial returns to World Rugby.

“The one thing I’d say is that in the US, rugby is a relatively immature sport. Objectively, they’ve got to build a team up.

“You saw the score for the US team against the All Blacks. I think they need time to invest in their team and build their stocks up.

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“At some point it would be great to have it there, but you want it to be a success. You want to make sure they’ve got their pathway sorted out, you’ll have full stadiums and it works as an event.”

The USA is also bidding to host the 2031 World Cup and McLennan said: “That tournament could be perfect for them.

“We’re absolutely committed to this. We’re absolutely keen to put on the most professional event and do a great job for everyone involved in rugby.

“The support for the game is there in Australia, but what the World Cup would do is put it on steroids.

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“It would give us five years to promote the game and also put a lot of government support and investment back into the game. It would take it to another level.

“We could survive without it, but it would be a tremendously fabulous thing if we did get it.”

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