Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 2035?

Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 2035?

World Rugby chief Alan Gilpin said he was impressed by Australia’s proposals to “cement the nation’s status as being at the heart of the rugby universe for a three-year period”.

“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,” added Gilpin, who was in Sydney for the announcement.

World Rugby is due to confirm the host of the men’s 2027 tournament in May. The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be held in France.

The United States is also in the running, but USA Rugby officials said last month they planned to refocus and seek the men’s World Cup in 2031 and the women’s in 2033 instead.

Would mean 40 years between Rugby World Cup’s in SA

That means the earliest South Africa could potentially host another Rugby World Cup – should SA Rugby decide to bid for it – would be 2035.

That’s a full 40 years after Mzansi memorably hosted the 1995 edition.

New Zealand will host the women’s World Cup this year, postponed from 2021 because of coronavirus pandemic, with the 2025 edition to take place in England.

“Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction for rugby in Australia as we head toward the final decision by World Rugby Council in May,” said Rugby Australia chairperson Hamish McLennan, calling it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity”.

The announcement came a week after the Australian government confirmed further funding for both events, which was considered the final hurdle to be cleared.

Back-to-back rugby World Cups would further cement Australia’s status as a sporting powerhouse.

In addition to the annual Australian Open tennis Grand Slam and Formula One race, the country will host cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup and the women’s basketball World Cup this year.

It will jointly hold football’s women’s World Cup with New Zealand in 2023, a British & Irish Lions rugby tour in 2025 and the Netball World Cup in 2027, while the 2032 summer Olympics are in Brisbane.

“The timeline of major sporting events in Australia over the next decade, culminating in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, provides a unique opportunity to create significant socio-economic benefits that will last generations and drive Australia’s post Covid-19 recovery,” said Sport’s Minister Richard Colbeck.

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

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