World Rugby announce dual bidding process for 2027, 2031 World Cups

Rugby World Cup
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by Beth Newman

World Rugby will award the next two Rugby World Cups simultaneously in the hope to replicate the success of the 2015 and 2019 tournaments, chairman Bill Beaumont has confirmed.

Beaumont described Japan 2019 as "probably the greatest" World Cup of all time, following up the success of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

The 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups were both awarded in 2009, but World Rugby moved away from that process in the awarding of the 2023 World Cup.

Australia has previously declared its intent to bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup, with Russia and Argentina also contenders, while America has also been touted as a potential host for either event.

The USA is hosting the 2026 Football World Cup and Los Angeles will host the 2028 Olympics, putting the potential of another major event in 2027 under a cloud.

With a dual announcement, though, there is the potential that the 2031 World Cup could go to a country like the USA, giving the bid winner close to a decade to prepare for hosting.

The bid process will formally begin in November 2020, with the final call to be made in 2021.

World Rugby has already announced it will review the process it undertook last time, where South Africa was announced as World Rugby's recommended host for 2023 well before the final vote, which went to France against that recommendation.

Beaumont confirmed the new process after the recent World Rugby Council meetings in Japan.

"As we look to the future, I can confirm today that the World Rugby Council has approved the implementation of a dual host selection process for 2027 and 2031," he said.

"The dual selection process will be launched in November 2020 and will enable World Rugby to select an optimal combination of hosts rather like what we've achieved here."

World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said he hoped the council would be willing to take a risk and take the tournament to new territories as they did in awarding Japan the first World Cup in Asia.

“(Japan) have been magnificent and warm hosts. We really hope other unions find the courage now to throw their hat into the ring to host a Rugby World Cup, perhaps as an emerging nation," he said.

"I hope that it also gives courage to World Rugby to be bold in decisions as they were in 2009 when they chose Japan.”