Australia "would kill it" at hosting another Rugby World Cup: Cheika

Rugby World Cup
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by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says Australia would “kill it” at hosting another Rugby World Cup if the opportunity arose.

Rugby Australia has already announced its intention to bid for the 2027 tournament, with USA, Argentina and Russia also declaring their interest in bidding.

France is hosting the 2023 tournament, after a 2017 vote, while World Rugby is likely to announce both the 2027 and 2031 hosts at an event in 2021.

Australia last hosted the tournament in 2003 and was also a co-host with New Zealand in the inaugural 1987 cup.

Asked how he felt Australia would be as a World Cup venue, Cheika didn't hesitate.

“I think we’d kill it, I say that in the positive way,” he said.

Australian fans watch the 2003 Rugby World Cup at a fanzone in Sydney. Photo: Getty Images“There’s one place we like to do at home and that’s put on a good show. We’ve got so many sports fans there and 2003 was the last one in Australia, wasn't it? 

“It’s a great place for people to - feel like I’m working for tourism board here  - it's a place you want to come for a holiday.

“Players won't be coming for a holiday but the spectators and you've seen how many there are, it would be, if I lived overseas and I was a foreigner it would be the one place I’d like to go to watch a World Cup.

“I can see all the journos nodding because they can see their holidays coming after that but it'd be big for the whole game if the World Cup was played in Australia, without a doubt.”

Japan has embraced the tournament across the country in the first World Cup to be held in Asia and Australians have been among the largest visiting contingent, outnumbering their opponents’ supporters in nearly every match.

Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi said the hype around the tournament was like nothing he had ever experienced.

“The buzz and the feeling around the people itself as a nation, I heard whispers that they've been learning other national anthems just to sing and be a part, all different teams,” he siad.

“Just to hear that a whole nation really buy into a Rugby World Cup is amazing and obviously you get that at different World Cups, but there's just something different about the Japanese.

“They're so welcoming, the detail around how we get to stadiums, little things from the change rooms being changed to each team.

“Those little details like changing the whole stadium just to make us feel at home, I think it's a little minor detail but it's awesome and they've really received every team really well and really enjoying it at the moment."

Japanese people have embraced the Rugby World Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesThe performance of Japan in this tournament has also created an extra level of buzz after the Brave Blossoms toppled Ireland and won their first three games.

A final pool clash with Scotland on Sunday will ultimately decide which Pool A teams make it through to the quarter-finals and the Japanese are well on track to be one of the teams that progresses.

The national side’s form has caused some pundits to question a decision to remove the Sunwolves from Super Rugby after 2020.

That call came earlier this year after the Japanese Rugby Football Union refused to stump up a multi-million dollar participation fee, requesting that the SANZAAR nations subsidise Japan from their own coffers.

“They’re going unreal. They're playing fantastic,” Cheika said.

“They're not just winning, they're playing really good rugby. So, what is it? It's massive for the region, massive. 

“It makes me a little bit disappointed that I won't see the Sunwolves play in Super Rugby going forward. I'm not quite sure how but, yeah, it makes you wonder.”