RFU chief executive endorses Australia for 2027 World Cup

Rugby World Cup
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia's hopes of hosting 2027 Rugby World Cup have a received a major endorsement from one of rugby's most influential voices.

Rugby Australia has announced its intent to bid for the tournament but the Australian government is yet to publicly pledge any major financial support for the bid.

With Japan hosting the 2019 tournament and France hosting the 2023 tournament, the 2027 World Cup is expected to go to a Southern Hemisphere nation.

Argentina and Russia have also indicated plans to put their hats in the ring but Australia shapes as an early frontrunner.

The USA have also been vocal about their intention to bid but it seems more likely that the North Americans would be in line to host the 2031 competition.

Both the 2027 and 2031 World Cups will be awarded at a World Rugby Council meeting in 2021 with the formal bid process beginning at the end of 2020.

England's Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney told the BBC on Friday that they would support Australia's bid.

"You would think 2027 would need to go somewhere southern hemisphere," Sweeney told the BBC.

"Australia is a really important rugby nation, who have had some financial challenges.

"Anything that World Rugby can do to support the game in Australia would be supported by all of us, I think."

Recently departed Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said during the 2019 Rugby World Cup that Australia would "kill it" if awarded another World Cup.

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

“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.”
Australia last hosted the world cup in 2003 and New Zealand were the last Southern Hemisphere nation to host the tournament, in 2011.