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'Significant development' in Australia's 2027 Rugby World Cup bid

By Ian Cameron
The Rugby World Cup Webb Ellis trophy is pictured before the Autumn Nations Series rugby union match between France and New Zealand at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Rugby Australia looks copper fastened to host of the 2027 Rugby World Cup, with a ‘signifcant development’ set to be revealed this Monday.

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World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin and Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos are set to attend the event at Taronga Zoo, where said development will be revealed.

Australia are effectively the only side left in running in the race to host the flagship tournament, with USA Rugby turning their attention to hosting the 2031 event instead.

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RFU Belonging – Back in the Game
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RFU Belonging – Back in the Game

Having already been named the ‘preferred candidate’, Australia’s hosting now seems to be a formality, with the Aussie government officially offering their financial clout to the tournament this week.

The Aussie government budget confirmed that the investment in Australia’s existing bid for the men’s tournament will be extended to include a bid for the women’s Rugby World Cup in 2029. It follows on from $9.8m in funding the Australian Government has already provided to support Rugby Australia’s bid efforts.

The union, despite their our financial challenges, has been presented as a safe pair of hands for the tournament, which they last hosted in 2003.

“Bringing the world’s third-largest sporting event back to our shores would provide a huge boost to the Australian economy after what has been an incredibly difficult few years for everyone,” said Rugby World Cup 2027 Bid Advisory Board Chairman, Sir Rod Eddington. “RWC 2027 in Australia would welcome two million attendees, including 200,000 international visitors, delivering $2.5 billion in direct and indirect expenditure for the economy and creating 13,300 equivalent FTE jobs.

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“It would also attract 30,000 new participants to the game. This is an unrivalled opportunity to support the Australia economy and grow the game of Rugby in Australia and the Pacific.”

Technically, their hosting won’t be ratified by World Rugby until May 12th. RA will hope the tournament can help arrest and even reverse Australia’s flagging interest in rugby union.

Meanwhile, American President Joe Biden has rowed in behind USA Rugby’s bid for the 2031 tournament, which would use NFL stadiums to host the event and aims to break the 2.47 million attendance record set by 2015 Rugby World Cup in England – should they be awarded the tournament.

If Australia is a safe pair of hands, then the US one is very much an unknown quantity. Nevertheless, the Americans are now hot favourites to be awarded hosting, which is also set to ratified on May 12th. World Rugby are hoping that the tournament could have a similar effect on the popularity of the sport in the US that the 1994 FIFA World Cup had on soccer.

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The fear is that stadia wouldn’t be filled if an America public unaccustomed with rugby union don’t turn out for the event.

President Biden, a distant cousin of Ireland’s Rob and Dave Kearney, is set to write to World Rugby President Bill Beaumont this week on the matter.

 

 

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