Rugby AU enters the race to bring 2021 & 2027 Rugby World Cups to Australia

· International
by Waratahs Media

The Rugby Australia Board resolved to launch official bids for both the Women’s and Men’s tournaments on the day the code announced a new national women’s competition to kick off in 2018.

Australia hosted the men’s edition of the Rugby World Cup in 1987 (with New Zealand) and 2003 with great success, but has never hosted a Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Rugby Australia Chairman, Cameron Clyne said: “As we edge closer to the 15th anniversary of the last Rugby World Cup played in Australia, regarded by many as the greatest in the tournament’s history, we are excited to confirm that Rugby Australia will bid for the hosting rights for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2021 and the 2027 (Men’s) Rugby World Cup.

“The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle for our Qantas Wallabies and Buildcorp Wallaroos teams and we want to bring those tournaments home for any player, boy or girl, man or woman, who ever dreamed of lifting the Cup here on our home soil.

“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.”

“With the NSW Government’s commitment to build a network of three world-class rectangular venues in Sydney, adding to the mix of quality stadiums available across the country, our prospects of bringing the World Cups to Australia have never been better.

“Without this leadership and vision from Government, Australian sports fans simply wouldn’t have access to the world’s biggest sporting events.

“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.

“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.”

Rugby Australia will move immediately to establish a 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup bid team, chaired by a Rugby Australia Board member, to work with government and World Rugby to develop a tender for the bid.

The 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup will be ninth edition of the tournament, which was first contested in 1991 and has never previously been held in the southern hemisphere.

The Australian Women’s Rugby team, the Wallaroos, finished 6th at the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup played in Ireland earlier this year, an event which attracted record attendances and worldwide television audiences for the women’s game.

The seven Women’s Rugby World Cup tournaments previous to Ireland were hosted by Wales (1991), Scotland (1994), Netherlands (1998), Spain (2002), Canada (2006), England (2010) and France (2014).

The Qantas Wallabies are one of only three national teams to have claimed the William Webb Ellis trophy as Rugby World Cup champions on multiple occasions.

Australia won the first of its two Rugby World Cups in England in 1991, repeating the feat eight years later in Wales. In 2003, our nation played host to arguably the greatest final in Rugby World Cup history which was won by England over the Wallabies courtesy of a Jonny Wilkinson drop-goal in extra time in front of a capacity Stadium Australia crowd.

Over 1.8 million spectators attended the 48 matches spread across 10 cities when Australia hosted the 2003 tournament. Throughout the six weeks of action, upwards of 70,000 international visitors converged on our shores, providing a $300 million injection for the local economy.

With France winning the right to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the tournament will be played in the northern hemisphere for the third consecutive edition. It is expected that World Rugby will set out the bid process for the 2027 Rugby World Cup in 2019.