Hopes for a future Rugby World Cup in the USA have moved a bit further into the future.
After a three day summit with World Rugby, including World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin, the sides mutually agreed to shift the bids focus to a 2031 Men’s Cup and a 2023 Women’s Cup.
The initial World Cup Bid included both the 2027 and 2031 Men’s Cups, as well at the 2029 Women’s cup. However, the 2027 cup has been widely expected to go to Australia. The USA is the expected front-runner for the 2031 Cup.
Pushing the Women’s cup bid to 2033 provides significant intrigue. The global women’s game has started shifting towards professionalism in recent years. Currently, most Eagles players ply their trade abroad. The Women’s Premier League serves as the highest level of women’s club rugby in the USA, but the 2020 season was suspended and a formal 2021 season did not occur.
The lack of a women’s league in the USA puts pressure on the Women’s Cup bids. While the Women’s Eagles look like a potential force on the global stage, the lack of a domestic fan base creates serious issues for marketing a RWC. Having the potential Cup occur two years after a Men’s Cup could create more rugby exposure within the US and provide a runway for the Women’s competition.
The 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup (played in 2022 due to the pandemic) is set for New Zealand this October. England is widely expected to be awarded the 2025 Women’s Competition.
The 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup is slated for France 2023, with Australia considered the leaders for 2027 and the USA considered the leaders for 2031.
The host of the 2025, 2027, 2029, and 2031 Cups are expected to be announced in spring 2022.