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RFU launch 2025 World Cup bid amid hopes of a £150m economic boost

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

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The RFU has confirmed it will submit a bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2025 and has formally provided an expression of interest to World Rugby. Since England last hosted the RWC in 2010 and won it in 2014, women’s rugby has grown exponentially with World Rugby stating the women’s game is the single biggest opportunity to grow the sport globally 


An RFU statement about its bid for a tournament that will expand from twelve to 16 teams: “For the 2025 bid the RFU plans to adopt a multi-city and multi-region approach to delivering the tournament. This hosting model will facilitate great opportunities for people living in different parts of the country to attend the tournament, promoting rugby and enhancing participation in the sport nationwide.

“England’s 15-a-side team is now the No1 ranked team in the world and the RFU has grown female participation in England from 13,000 to 40,000 registered players in clubs, with a growing pipeline of 80,000 girls playing in schools, colleges and universities. Grassroots education and mentor programmes will aim to attract 500 new female coaches and 1,000 match officials and 60,000 new registered players.

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“With the aim of attracting more fans of women’s rugby in the build-up to 2025, a renewed effort will be put on marketing and encouraging fan attendance at Allianz Premier 15s matches and clubhouses will be opened up to hosting events to encourage women who have never played or watched rugby to see rugby clubs as a place they would like to visit.”

RFU CRO Bill Sweeney said: “Securing RWC 2025 would add to the impressive list of major sporting events that the UK has attracted since London 2012, reinforcing the UK’s international reputation as a leading major events destination and a global leader in promoting women’s sport. As well as providing great economic returns, hosting the tournament would help to further promote rugby as an inclusive sport and provide a springboard to narrow the gap between male and female participation.”

A study by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sports Industry Research Centre (SIRC) demonstrated hosting the RWC in 2025 would be of benefit to the local economies of host venues around the country through job creation as well as services provided and the RWC could boost the economy by £156.25million with projections of an economic return of £5 for every £1 invested. Meanwhile, the legacy programme could generate an estimated £86m.


Subject to securing sufficient private and public sector funding, the final World Cup 2025 bid submission will go to World Rugby for consideration in January 2022.


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