The USA Looks Set To Be Named Rugby World Cup Host For 2031 And 2033 - Men's Health Magazine Australia

The USA Looks Set To Be Named Rugby World Cup Host For 2031 And 2033

With a bid priced at half-a-billion dollars, it’s believed to have support from the Biden White House.

The idea of the USA hosting a rugby World Cup might sound peculiar, but when it comes to sporting events, the US certainly knows how to put on a show – just look at the 2022 Super Bowl as evidence, with the kind of Half Time Show performance that is still being watched on replay by fans around the world. Now, it looks likely that the US will be named as host of the 2031 men’s Rugby World Cup and women’s event in 2033 with a bid priced at half a billion dollars, along with support from the Biden White House. 

According to World Rugby chief Alan Gilpin, “We’re not talking to anybody else about Rugby World Cup hosting in 2031 and 2033. It doesn’t mean it’s a done deal…but it means that we strategically believe we can deliver the right outcomes with this hosting plan.”

A large motivator for the US hosting the World Cup is to see the sport broadcast to a nation that otherwise doesn’t have a strong foothold in the sport. It’s hoped that by hosting the tournament, it will encourage more people to engage and take up the sport at home in the US, bringing rugby to a new legion of fans. The US men’s team shipped 104 points to the All Blacks in October and need to beat Chile for a place at the World Cup in France next year. It might sound like a lot to achieve, but as a professional competition, Major League Rugby is only in its fifth season domestically. If the US is successful in their bid, games will be played at NFL, college and MLS stadiums. 

Thankfully, fans of the sport won’t have to travel so far in the coming years as Australia is also holding similar conversations with chief organisers regarding the men’s event in 2027. When asked for confirmation of the news however, Gilpin simply said: “The short answer is there’ll be more news to come in the next couple of weeks. We’re down in Australia from the end of next week, addressing the outstanding issues with our friends at Rugby Australia. So there’ll be more to come on that. In terms of contingencies, yes, lots of conversations going on around who’s capable of hosting and when and again, those are very strategic conversations rather than a competitive bid process.”

Gilpin added, “So [Australia] are our preferred candidate for 2027 and we expect to be in good shape in the discussions with them.”

According to Ross Young, chief executive of USA Rugby, hosting the Rugby World Cup wouldn’t only drive engagement within the US, but also seek to bring people together. “The catchphrase that goes with the bid is being United by Rugby,” he told reporters, referring to both the American game and political divides. “This is a big old geography, there are a number of different stakeholders that just aren’t as aligned as they should be for the growth of the game. So this is the opportunity to do that, to do that background work and create a plan that’s measurable and accountable.” 

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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