Australian rugby has received a double dose of good news with the country set to host not one, but two, World Cups this decade.
World Rugby on Monday announced that Australia was its “preferred candidate” to host the women’s World Cup in 2029 after already granting the men’s tournament the same status for 2027.
A WR council vote in Dublin in May is now a formality.
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“Hosting two Rugby World Cups is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Australia and the Rugby community and all aspirational future Wallaroos and Wallabies,” Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said.
Australia has never previously hosted a women’s World Cup.
“We are excited by Australia’s vision and passion to work with World Rugby to deliver an exceptional Rugby World Cup in 2027 and now 2029, cementing the nation’s status as being at the heart of the rugby universe for a three year period,” WR chief executive Alan Gilpin said.
The men’s tournament is considered by many metrics to be the world’s third largest sporting event.
The 2023 men’s World Cup will be hosted by France while the 2022 women’s World Cup will be played in New Zealand before the 2025 edition in England.
“We saw what winning Olympic gold in the sevens in Rio 2016 did for the women’s game in this country,” RA chief executive Andy Marinos said.
“Hosting the marquee event on the XVs calendar would provide a similar lift for the women’s game here.”
Crucially, RA got World Cup backing from the government in its Federal Budget last week.
“Hosting RWC 2027 and 2029 would deliver a combined $2.8 billion in direct and indirect expenditure for the economy,” bid advisory board chairman Sir Rod Eddington said.
“Not only is this is a game changing opportunity for rugby in this country and the broader Pacific, it will also be a major shot in the arm for the Australian economy as we continue to emerge from a range of challenges in recent years.”
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