Final presentation to make or break Australia’s Women’s World Cup hosting chances

Womens Rugby World Cup
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A half-hour presentation to the Rugby World Cup council could make or break Australia's Women's Rugby World Cup bid.

Australia is bidding against New Zealand for the right to host the 2023 tournament and there is just one hurdle to clear before the November 14 announcement.

CEO Raelene Castle and chairman Cameron Clyne will front the council on the morning of the announcement to give one final pitch ahead of the council's vote later that day.

While they won't be able to introduce any secret weapons not already mentioned in their initial bids, the presentation is their last chance to sway the voters. 

There is the option to bring a third person into the pitch, but Rugby Australia is yet to decide whether they will take up that option.

"World Rugby have presented a summary of each of the bids, so each of the council members receives that summary," Castle said.

"We go in on the morning, do a presentation for half an hour and then council vote on their decision between New Zealand and Australia who's going to host the World Cup."

"There's very strict rules around what you are and aren't allowed to do.

"You can't introduce any new information, it's a bit like going to court.

"It'll be great - it's really a verbal presentation of the information that they'll have in black and white in writing.

"It's a chance for us to put a face to our information and we're really appreciative of that opportunity. "

World Rugby officials had a chance to see the Australia's proposed sites when they were in Australia in September and Castle said they felt confident in their bid.

"We know we've put our best foot forward from engaging point of view," she said.

"We know Australia's respected as a country and Rugby Australia's respected as an organisation that can put on big events.

"So, I think we tick all of those boxes."

The women's Rugby World Cup bid presents a slightly different challenge to that of its male counterpart with only part of the voting council actually having teams in the tournament.

"You have got half the council which will have a different perspective perhaps than the ones that have athletes thinking about what the athlete experience is going to be or what the opportunity to grow their team involvement's going to be, so it is an unusual combination but if's about for us reassuring those people," Castle said.

"We're certainly very confident we've put a ver ystrong bid forward, particularly from the support we've got from our governments and that puts us in a really good space to be really firm and proud of what we're presenting."

The bid will conclude a big year for women's XVs , after the inaugural Super W competition and two Bledisloe double headers played in August.

Castle said those developments would play a big part in their final sell.

"It shows the WRWC is an evolution of what we're already doing and what we've already got in place," she said.

"I think that is an important part of it and one of the things about hosting a Women's Rugby World Cup is the legacy that it leaves - not just for rugby in Australia and women's rugby in Australia but also in this region.

"I think that's an important part of the presentation is making sure we talk about the legacy elements that hosting a WRWC in Australia would bring."