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New ground broken as Rugby World Cup heads to the USA

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Aurelien Meunier - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

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The United States have been confirmed as the host nation for the 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups.

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The USA were the only bidder for the two tournaments but there were no guarantees that World Rugby would vote to break new ground and take the flagship event to the Americas for the first time in its history.

With hugely financial successful men’s tournaments taking place in England and Japan in recent years – and France 2023 on course to be another record-breaker – World Rugby have seen fit to grow the game of rugby with a calculated risk.

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See inside the USA Rugby camp as they take on the mighty All Blacks.
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See inside the USA Rugby camp as they take on the mighty All Blacks.

The men’s competition has only once in the past been hosted outside the traditional rugby-playing nations, with the 2019 event in Japan an unequivocal success from both a commercial and engagement point of view.

With England, France and – as was also confirmed on Thursday – Australia hosting three tournaments over a 12-year period, taking the event to the United States generates the possibility of reaching a significant new audience in the Western Hemisphere.

 

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“I speak for 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 Chief Executive Ross Young.

“USA Rugby will now venture into a new era and ensure the sport’s most treasured event is a springboard for creating lasting, sustainable enthusiasm and passion for rugby from coast to coast. We look forward to partnering with World Rugby in the years ahead to ensure that our preparations for these tournaments and the events themselves are a paradigm-shifting catalyst for the growth of our sport, not only here in the United States but around the world.”

The World Rugby council also approved a new model that will see the governing body form partnerships with national unions and governments to establish a local delivery structure in each nation.

The new partnership approach is in line with the ‘game-changer’ objectives of World Rugby’s strategic plan to provide hosting certainty for Rugby World Cup and stimulate the dynamic development of rugby globally by engaging with more fans and unlocking new revenue streams for increased investment in the sport. This includes a roadmap to accelerate the sport’s advancement in the USA and increased investment in the women’s game.

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“Today, we have approved three exceptional Rugby World Cup host nations – England, Australia and USA – providing unprecedented certainty and an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate the growth and impact of rugby globally. It is great for rugby, for fans and for the host nations,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.

“The confirmation of host locations is supported by a new partnership approach to event delivery, that will power long-term, sustainable development, including in the USA and across the women’s game, enabling the sport to realise its global potential on and off the field, driving significant social and economic benefits for host nations.

“Today is a landmark moment for the sport, and an exciting development for fans. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this dream a reality as we look to deliver a truly global sport for all.”

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