Most of the focus around World Cups is on the verdict around the 2023 men’s World Cup, but it won’t be long before the women’s bidding comes up and Australia is considering throwing its hat in the ring.
Rugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne said it was still early days in the process, but it was discussed at this week’s board meeting.
“The next critical thing for World Rugby is in a couple of weeks they're going to make their decision around 2023 Men's World Cup,” he said.
“At that time a well, they'll outline the process for bidding for both 2021 for women and 2027 for men.
“Given they're going to outline the process, it's obviously prompted a conversation - should Australia consider it? We're open-minded, we haven't begun to think about whether we support it or not.
“What we are seeing is huge interest in all formats of the game and I think Ireland did a great job and so we looked at that and said let's wait and see what world rugby says and we'll have a chat about it but that's a decision for next year.”
The unveiling of a new training facility at Moore Park certainly won’t hurt Australia’s chances but Clyne said they’d be looking to work with universities in the same way Ireland did for this year’s tournament.
“I think what Ireland seemed to do very well was play on good-sized grounds, so you had that fan engagement and they used university facilities for players,” he said.
“We just looked at that and said, 'they did really well', maybe there’s some merit but it's a decision for next year. we don't even know the criteria yet but we're certainly open-minded.”
Bachelorette brother at Rugby AU Opening
There was plenty of buzz around Stu Laundy this week, but only some keen-eyed observers would have spotted his brother Craig at the Rugby AU opening.
Craig is the local member for Reid in New South Wales and was one of the dignitaries present for the plaque unveiling.
Adopt a dog at the NRC
The Country Eagles and Brisbane City played out a thrilling draw in Orange but the pre-game entertainment was just as good.
Following an initiative from a Spanish soccer game, the NRC organised for RSPCA representatives to bring dogs to the game, to encourage people to adopt a new pet.
It was a hit with fans and players, and another sign of some innovation in the provincial competition.
Holland goes bush
Aussie men’s Sevens captain Lewi Holland has invested in some prime real estate in recent times, purchasing his first farm.
Sydney Uni producing nines
There were five halfbacks in the mix for Saturday’s Wallabies-Barbarians game and three of them came out of Sydney Uni.
Wallabies skipper Nick Phipps and Jake Gordon were both in the Australian camp through the week, as many would know, but Theo Strang was the third, on the Baabaas side.
Phipps and Strang, who featured for the NSW U20s this season, combined in Shute Shield at times this year, with the latter at flyhalf.
The elder statesman had plenty of praise for his clubmate on Thursday.
“ He's a lot more mature than his age, he's able to lead a senior team around at five-eighth when he hasn't played too much five-eight before with me
“He's certainly got the skills and right now he's in that stage of his career where he's just working hard in the program at Sydney Uni to get his opportunity.”
Keeping up with the Joneses
There’s been a horde of players returning from overseas in the past two seasons and Luke Jones is keeping his options open, despite re-signing with Bordeaux for two more years.
When he left, Jones said he was keeping an open mind about the option of returning for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Now with a daughter and a little boy on the way, he is well embedded in the French scene, but has not ended his thoughts of a homecoming.
“It’s a fun lifestyle, when you’re in Europe and you can travel and stuff, there’s plenty to do I guess.
“There could be some sort of motion to try and come back still but if it happens, it happens that would be fantastic and I’d definitely consider doing that but I understand if it doesn’t.
“I was put under some serious pressure to stay (in Bordeaux) because they’re happy with my playing and I’m enjoying my time there. They were pretty keen to wrap it up pretty quickly.
“If Australia came knocking, I think Bordeaux would understand if I wanted to go back.”
Some exciting news in recent weeks for some of the Wallabies - Scott Fardy and his wife Penelope gave birth to their first child, August, on October 14,while Sean McMahon and wife Nia announced they were expecting a baby in April next year.
One thing’s for sure - those kids will be well-travelled.
Bledisloe TV boost
The third Bledisloe was a hit with Aussie spectators and TV audiences tuned in as well, with the match topping the sports programs on Saturday night, with 900,000 viewers.
It's the best Aussie audience since 2015 for the Wallabies.