World Rugby convinced USA Rugby to focus their bid on the 2033 World Cup instead of the intended 2029 competition. Now, we know why.
Rugby Australia announced additional government support for a bid for the 2029 women’s competition. This comes after government support for the 2027 men’s competition.
When World Rugby nudged the USA to focus on the 2033 event, it left the 2029 event without a front-runner. This likely moves Australia into the pole position for the 2029 event. The Land Down Under was already the clear front-runner for the men’s event in 2027.
A 2027/2029 hosting model would create a five year focus on rugby in Australia. The Wallabies are set to host the British and Irish Lions in 2025. The twin World Cup bids would grant them three showpiece events in that five year span.
World Rugby’s new approach to World Cups is more than clear. Instead of moving each event to a different part of the globe, they’re favoring tying a men’s and women’s event together. By playing the men’s event first, it serves as a way to build engagement for the women’s event just two years later.
The 2021 Rugby World Cup will be played in New Zealand, while the 2023 Rugby World Cup is set for France. The current preferred candidates for future cups are as follows:
- 2025 (Women) – England
- 2027 (Men) – Australia
- 2029 (Women) – Australia
- 2031 (Men) – USA
- 2033 (Women) – USA
Official decisions will be made by World Rugby on May 12, 2022.