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Bid revision leaves England, Australia, USA set to host World Cups

By Liam Heagney

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World Rugby council has approved revisions to its Rugby World Cup host selection process, awarding exclusive preferred candidate status to Australia for the 2027 World Cup 2027 while confirming the USA will enter into exclusively targeted dialogue for World Cup 2031. It was also decided to award preferred candidate status to England for the 2025 World Cup for women.  

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A statement explained: “The reforms follow a full review of the host selection process, the objectives for Rugby World Cup and the current global environment to ensure the international federation is in step with a rapidly changing world. 

“They will deliver greater alignment between future Rugby World Cup hosts and World Rugby’s long-term goals while delivering an exceptional experience for players and fans. Ultimately, the new model will supercharge the global growth of the sport into new markets, attracting new fans and participants.

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Guess the celebrity Rose | Karen Carney | England Rugby
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Guess the celebrity Rose | Karen Carney | England Rugby

“The preferred candidate process will introduce a new philosophy for invited potential hosts to present a flexible approach with hosting proposals that best fit their sporting, economic, social and environmental planning needs rather than trying to fit the local context to a set Rugby World Cup hosting model. 

“The ultimate goal is to create a delivery model that maximises financial and operational efficiencies, while unlocking greater value for hosts and global rugby development, with a strong emphasis on building sustainable relationships with host countries and broadening fan and commercial appeal. The new Rugby World Cup model will see World Rugby take more direct responsibility for the delivery of the pinnacle events.

“The awarding of preferred candidate status follows extensive dialogue with interested nations over the last year. It comes with the full support of the respective unions and key financial commitments from their governments and will enable the sport to move forward with a clear ten-year roadmap. Final hosting rights will be awarded by the council in May 2022.”

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World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The new approach to electing Rugby World Cup hosts is more flexible and collaborative, with World Rugby working with potential hosts to optimise their Rugby World Cup proposals and align them with long-term social and economic development plans for the benefit of their communities and the future expansion of the sport. 

“As a result, we are entering into an enhanced relationship with England and Australia as exclusive preferred candidates for 2025 and 2027 respectively, and the USA in exclusively targeted dialogue with a view to developing the most effective hosting model.”

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Bid revision leaves England, Australia, USA set to host World Cups

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