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NZR boss outlines why New Zealand may not host another World Cup

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

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New Zealand Rugby [NZR] chief executive Mark Robinson says it will be “really challenging” for New Zealand to stage another World Cup.

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Speaking to Newstalk ZB, Robinson said while he would “dearly love” for New Zealand to stage the World Cup for a third time, after having done so in 1987 and 2011, there are multiple factors that would make that a difficult prospect to bring to fruition.

He said that New Zealand would “have to be very innovative” if it is to stage another global showpiece event as the tournament becomes bigger and bigger with each passing event.

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“I guess it comes up in passing, but not a formal discussion point,” the former All Blacks midfielder said.

“It’s really interesting, the stage of the World Cup, the size of the tournament, for a country like New Zealand to be able to host it.

“[If you look at] Government support in Australia, the size of stadia, the expectation World Rugby has to drive revenue to reinvest in the game across the world, it will be really challenging for New Zealand.

“We’ll have to be very creative as a country if we are ever to broach that subject again.

“Look how big France is going to be in the revenue generation, what’s been talked about in Australia, and we know in America the size of stadium and the massive commercial grunt behind sport.

“The context and expectation is shifting all the time. We’ll keep it on the radar but we’ll have to be very innovative to bring something like that to New Zealand in the future.”

Robinson’s comments come a year-and-a-half out from next year’s World Cup from France, with the women’s edition to be held in New Zealand later this year.

England is in line to stage the 2025 women’s World Cup, while Australia is expected to hold the men’s and women’s tournaments in 2027 and 2029, with the United States favoured to follow suit in 2031 and 2033.

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