2023 controversy opened Australia's World Cup door

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Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

World Rugby’s controversial Rugby World Cup voting process may have opened the door for Australia to throw themselves in the ring for the 2027 Men’s  Rugby World Cup.

Rugby Australia announced their intention to bid for the tournament on Wednesday, one that would be their third round of hosting the international tournament.

Initially Australia had eyed off a go at the 2031 Rugby World Cup, with the tournament generally rotating between hemispheres.

Pulver revealed Australia was one of the nations that voted in favour of the initial recommendation by the Rugby World Cup board, that South Africa should host the 2023 tournament.

That group, though, was in the minority, with France controversially winning the right to host the tournament.The France bid team were beaming after their surprise win. Photo: Getty ImagesWhen France won the vote, that gave Australia an opportunity to move their bid forward, Pulver said.

“We were watching intently what happened with the 2023 World Cup,” he said.

“Had it been a South Africa win, it may have been tough for us to bid in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Now that it's in the Northern Hemisphere again, we are very optimistic about bidding and bidding hard for 2027.”

Despite the controversial process this time around, Pulver said he had faith that a review would return a fairer result in four years’ time.

"Ultimately approval for a World Cup bid has to be made by the council," he said.

"There's just a bit of a structural flaw in the process that I think they'll try and look at. I understand why it's there, I would prefer a more objective assessment.The final round of Super Rugby is upon us. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyPulver hit back at criticism of the NSW Government’s $2 billion contribution to the reconstruction of stadia in Sydney, something that would be critical to Australia's bid.

"I give very good credit to the state government for the stadia they have just announced," he said.

"I've seen they've taken some flak for it, which I think is completely unwarranted .

“If you go and review the analysis that was done by the Rugby World Cup board on the bids, the original recommendation for South Africa came on the back of outstanding infrastructure, and outstanding stadia.

“On the back of the NSW state government plan, a great new stadium in Perth, wonderful AAMI Park in Melbourne, superb Suncorp in Brisbane, I'd love the ACT government to produce an indoor stadium.

"We will be truly world class.

“If you can get a financial plan to match what the other countries are producing and the world knows Australia produces great tournaments.

“We did a great job in ‘87, we did a great job in 2003, we do a superb job with our Sevens tournaments, so we'll be working hard to win.”

Australia’s first priority will be bidding for the 2021 women’s Rugby World Cup, a process that will begin immediately.