World Rugby expects "compelling" 2027 Rugby World Cup bid from Australia

Rugby World Cup
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by Beth Newman

World Rugby are expecting a “compelling” 2027 Rugby World Cup bid from Australia after they were defeated in the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup bid on Thursday morning.

Australia missed out on hosting rights for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup to New Zealand in a 25-17 vote after a long bid process.

It seems highly likely the 2027 Rugby World Cup will be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time since 2011 when the host is announced in 2021, after three consecutive tournaments in the Northern Hemisphere.

South Africa were hot favourites to take out the rights to the 2023 Rugby World Cup but a shock win to France extended the northern run for another tournament.

Australia last hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2003, while New Zealand was the most recent Southern Hemisphere host in 2011.

Rugby Australia last year signalled its intent to bid for the 2027 tournament, with that process set to start in 2020.

Rugby World Cup boss Alan Gilpin said he didn’t think Australia’s loss in the Women’s Rugby World Cup race would have any affect on their 2027 chances.

“I don’t think it’ll have any impact,” he said.

“Hopefully it has helped Rugby Australia formulate their thinking about the bid process. We’ll start that process in 2020 and I’m sure they’re already working out how they’re going to approach it.

“We know there’s huge state government investment in the venues, we know Australia can put on a great World Cup, we’ve been there before and done that before and we look forward to working with them on that bid.”

Argentina is also believed to be keen to bid for the 2027 tournament, though they haven’t made any formal announcement of those plans.

Gilpin said any Australian bid would certainly be a strong one in that race.

“We don’t know yet who else will be in the running for that tournament,” he said.

“Australia have come out early and confirmed their intentions to bid which is great, it starts that conversation and 2011 in New Zealand, now we’ll be in the Northern Hemisphere in Japan and again in France so I’m sure Australia’s bid will be really compelling.”

Rugby AU CEO Raelene Castle said while the women’s and men’s tournaments were fundamentally different processes, they could take lessons from the recent race.

“I think there's always learnings as to what's important to people in the focus areas for these types of bids,” she said.

“I think it's also being a little bit careful because it is a different comparison, Women’s World cup to a men's World Cup, but there's certainly learnings and we'll go away and review the process that we've been through and make sure we put our focus and emphasis in the right areas.”

Rugby Australia is also open to potentially bidding for the 2025 women’s tournament and Gilpin said there’s no reason they shouldn’t have another crack.

“We’ve seen through this process and we know anyway that women’s rugby is a huge part of rugby in Oz and Australia’s a massive part of women’s rugby for us,” he said.

“So, I think a Women’s World Cup for Australia would be massive in the future and I don’t think they should be too deterred by this one.”