The Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up in resplendent green and gold on Thursday night as Australia was awarded hosting rights for the 2027 (men’s) and 2029 (women’s) Rugby World Cups.
The decision to award Australia hosting rights for both tournaments was a fait accompli after a successful campaign to win over the game’s powerbrokers.
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Australia set for twin Rugby World Cups
It will be the third time Australia has hosted the men’s RWC after co-hosting the first tournament in 1987 with New Zealand then winning sole rights in 2003.
Australia has never hosted a women’s RWC before.
Organisers claim the twin tournaments are projected to generate $2.8 billion in direct and indirect expenditure to the economy, while also creating 14,000 jobs and stimulating more than $500 million in new trade and investment.
“This is a historic day for rugby in Australia,” Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said.
“We’re beyond thrilled to be welcoming not one, but two Rugby World Cups to our shores. It’s a game changer for rugby in this country, a once in a generation opportunity to revitalise and secure the future of the sport here and see the game we all love grow and thrive for years to come…
“I look forward to working together with our member union and government partners over the coming years to ensure that we make the most of this opportunity and continue the resurgence of rugby in this country.”
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Wallabies legend Tim Horan tweeted that it was “the most significant moment in Australian rugby’s history” since winning the 1991 World Cup.
“We now have a golden decade of rugby in front of us, with the British and Irish Lions series in 2025, Rugby World Cups in 2027 and 2029, 2032 Olympic Games and a host of international men’s and women’s teams due to visit Australia for XVs and sevens fixtures,” RA chief executive Andy Marinos said.
“Australia will become the centre of the rugby world over the next decade and that is incredibly exciting.”
Using a new partnership hosting model, World Rugby wants to give the same country back-to-back World Cups, believing it will “underpin the growth of the sport.”
World Rugby also confirmed England as the host of the 2025 women’s World Cup and the United States as the host of the 2031 (men’s) and 2033 (women’s) World Cups.
In some parts of the world, the men’s tournament — held every four years — ranks No.3 in global sports events behind the Olympics and the football World Cup.
“We are all committed to make the most of this golden opportunity,” Wallabies legend Phil Kearns said.
“This is also a significant moment for our neighbours in the Pacific and we want it to be embraced and treated as a home World Cup by players and fans in the region.
“We look forward to working with our government partners and our colleagues at World Rugby and Oceania Rugby to deliver a legacy program that ensures this is achieved and the impact of the tournament extends into the Pacific region.”
The US bid received support from the White House, with President Joe Biden sending a letter to World Rugby last month giving governmental guarantees and his backing for the “development of rugby in the United States.”
World Rugby said the voting for all five tournaments was “unanimous.”
“Today, we have approved three exceptional Rugby World Cup host nations – England, Australia and USA – providing unprecedented certainty and an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate the growth and impact of rugby globally,” World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.
“It is great for rugby, for fans and for the host nations. The confirmation of host locations is supported by a new partnership approach to event delivery, that will power long-term, sustainable development, including in the USA and across the women’s game, enabling the sport to realise its global potential on and off the field, driving significant social and economic benefits for host nations.
“Today is a landmark moment for the sport, and an exciting development for fans.
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this dream a reality as we look to deliver a truly global sport for all.”