The United States will host the Rugby World Cup for the first time

A Sydney ferry passes the illuminated Sydney Harbor Bridge pylon ahead of the final vote to host the Rugby World Cups, Thursday May 12, 2022. World Rugby will announce the men's and women's World Cup host nations for the 2025-2033 period with Australia heavily favored to host the 2027 men's and 2029 women's tournaments. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A Sydney ferry passes the illuminated Sydney Harbor Bridge pylon ahead of the final vote to host the Rugby World Cups, Thursday May 12, 2022. World Rugby will announce the men’s and women’s World Cup host nations for the 2025-2033 period with Australia heavily favored to host the 2027 men’s and 2029 women’s tournaments. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

PA

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

World Rugby announced the host nations for all World Cups from 2025 to 2033 after a meeting of its council in Dublin on Thursday, with Australia also hosting back-to-back tournaments in 2027 (men) and 2029 (women).

The sport is breaking new ground by bringing the men’s tournament – World Rugby’s most lucrative asset – to North America, with the governing body seeing it as an area of ​​untapped potential both commercially and sportingly. The Women’s World Cup was held in Canada in 2006.

USA Rugby chief executive Ross Young described the move as a “paradigm-shifting catalyst for the growth of our sport, not just here in the United States but around the world.”

“USA Rugby will now venture into a new era,” added Young, “and ensure that the sport’s most treasured event is a springboard for creating lasting and lasting enthusiasm and passion for the game of rugby. coast to coast.”

Hosting the two World Cups will cost around $500 million, with profits and losses split between World Rugby and USA Rugby. More than 20 US cities are potential hosts for World Cup games, USA Rugby said.

The bid has received support from the White House, with US President Joe Biden sending a letter to World Rugby last month giving government guarantees and support for the “development of rugby in the United States”.

The Men’s Rugby World Cup is considered in some parts of the world as the third biggest sporting event, after the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics.

The United States hosts all three events over a five-year period from 2026, starting with the FIFA Men’s World Cup that year – with Mexico and Canada as co-hosts – then the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

“The unprecedented growth made possible by bringing the world’s third largest sporting event and the fastest growing women’s event to the world’s largest sporting market cannot be overstated,” USA Rugby said.

Sydney Harbor Bridge has lit up in green and gold following World Rugby’s announcement that sees the men’s tournament return to Australia for the first time since 2003.

It is seen as a chance to rejuvenate rugby in the country as the World Cups come after the British and Irish Lions tour Australia in 2025, bringing much-needed revenue to its hard-hit governing body – Rugby Australia – by the pandemic. .

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

“Australia will become the center of the rugby world over the next decade,” he said, “and that’s incredibly exciting.”

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

For the first time, World Rugby is using a new partnership accommodation model as part of a streamlined application process. Australia had already been named the ‘preferred candidate’ for the 2027 and 29 tournaments while the United States had entered into an ‘exclusive targeted dialogue’ with World Rugby for the 2031 men’s tournament.

England have been announced as hosts of the Women’s World Cup in 2025.

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Steve Douglas is on https://twitter.com/sdouglas80

Naomi C. Amerson