US to host first Rugby World Cup

The United States will host the Rugby World Cup for the first time after being chosen to host the men’s tournament in 2031 and the women’s tournament two years later.

Australia will also host back-to-back tournaments in 2027 (men’s) and 2029 (women’s).

The sport is breaking new ground, bringing the men’s championship – world rugby’s most profitable asset – to North America, which the governing body sees as an area of ​​untapped potential in both a commercial and sporting sense. The 2006 Women’s World Cup was held in Canada.

NFL CEO Ross Young described the decision as a “paradigm-changing catalyst that has advanced our game, not just in the U.S., but around the world.”

“American football will now enter a new era,” added Young, “and ensure that the sport’s most treasured event serves as a springboard to create lasting, sustainable enthusiasm and enthusiasm for football everywhere.”

Hosting two World Cups will cost about $500 million, with the profit and loss shared by World Rugby and American Rugby. The NFL says more than 20 U.S. cities are potential hosts for the World Cup.

The bid was backed by the White House, with US President Joe Biden sending a letter to the World Rugby Association last month offering government assurances and his support for “the development of rugby in the United States.”

The Men’s Rugby World Cup is seen in some parts of the world as the third largest sporting event after the Football World Cup and the Summer Olympics.

From 2026, the U.S. will host all three events over five years, starting with that year’s Men’s Soccer World Cup — co-hosted by Mexico and Canada — and then the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

“It cannot be overstated the unprecedented growth brought by bringing the world’s third-largest sporting event and fastest-growing women’s event to the world’s largest sports market,” NFL said.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was lit up in green and gold following the announcement of World Rugby as the men’s championship returned to Australia for the first time since 2003.

The World Cup is seen as an opportunity to revive rugby in the country after the 2025 England and Ireland Lions’ tour of Australia, bringing much-needed revenue to its governing body, Rugby Australia, which has been hit hard by the pandemic .

Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos called it “the beginning of a new era for Australian rugby”.

“Australia is going to be the centre of the rugby world over the next decade,” he said. “It’s very exciting.”

The 2027 tournament will mark the 40th anniversary of Australia and New Zealand hosting the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.

World Rugby is using a new partner hosting model for the first time as part of a streamlined bidding process. Australia has been named as a “preferred candidate” for the 2027 and 2029 tournaments, while the United States has entered into “exclusive target talks” with the World Rugby Union for the men’s tournament in 2031.

England has been announced as the host of the 2025 Women’s World Cup.

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