Australia to bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup

Australia also bidding to host the women’s tournament for first time in 2021

Australia captain Michael Hooper in action against England during the November Tests. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty

Australia captain Michael Hooper in action against England during the November Tests. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty

 

Australia will bid to host the Rugby World Cup for a third time in 2027 and the women’s version for the first time, in 2021.

Rugby Australia confirmed the dual bids on the same day it announced a new national women’s competition will kick off in 2018, and a day after Raelene Castle was installed as the organisation’s new chief executive.

Australia has hosted the men’s World Cup twice before – in 1987, along with New Zealand, and 2003 – but never the women’s tournament, which has run every four years since its inception in 1991, and has never been held in the southern hemisphere.

“The Women’s World Cup is growing from strength to strength off the back of an incredible tournament in Ireland this year and given Australia’s track record in hosting major events, we are supremely confident of delivering a tournament like no other in 2021,” Rugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne said.

The Australian Women’s Rugby team, the Wallaroos, finished sixth at the 2017 tournament, an event that saw record attendances and worldwide television audiences for the women’s game.

RA also announced a domestic Super W competition of women’s XV rugby would run in March 2018 for six weeks and be contested between Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria, and Western Australia.

“There has never been a more exciting time in the women’s game, and we are looking forward to the inaugural Super W competition kicking off in March before the second edition of the Aon Women’s University Sevens Series in August,” Clyne said.

“These two competitions have strengthened the pathway for women’s rugby and are providing more opportunities than ever before for young girls and women to pursue their ambitions of playing the game at the highest levels and representing their country on the biggest stage, including the World Cup and the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.”

In the statement, Clyne raised the NSW government’s controversial commitment to rebuilding Sydney’s stadiums, arguing that the resulting network of three rectangular venues would heighten Australia’s prospects of bringing the World Cups to Australia.

When Australia last hosted the men’s Rugby World Cup, over 1.8 million spectators attended the 48 matches spread across 10 towns, and $300m was injected into the local economy.

The 2023 men’s tournament will be held in France.

(Guardian service)

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