As widely expected Australia was granted the hosting rights for the 2027 men’s and 2029 women’s World Cups after a World Rugby vote Thursday, delivering a considerable boost to the code here.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont announced that England would host the next tournament on offer in women’s rugby in 2025 before Australia and then the United States would host the next four tournaments between 2027 and 2033.
“The confirmation of host locations is supported by a new partnership approach to event delivery, that will power long-term, sustainable development, including in the USA and across the women’s game, enabling the sport to realise its global potential on and off the field, driving significant social and economic benefits for host nations,” Beaumont said.
“Today is a landmark moment for the sport, and an exciting development for fans. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this dream a reality as we look to deliver a truly global sport for all.”
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan hailed it as “a historic day for rugby in Australia.”
“We’re beyond thrilled to be welcoming not one, but two Rugby World Cups to our shores,” he said.
“It’s a game-changer for rugby in this country, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revitalise and secure the future of the sport here and see the game we all love grow and thrive for years to come.
“Today’s announcement is also the result of an incredible amount of hard work and cooperation from across the rugby community over many years. Today is a significant moment in time for our game. We look forward to working together with World Rugby, our member unions and Government partners over the coming years to ensure that we make the most of this opportunity and continue the resurgence of rugby in this country.”
Australia were winners in 1991 and 1999 last hosted the tournament in 2003 when the Wallabies lost to England in the final.
They had ad been all but certain to earn both tournaments after previously earning preferred host status in the streamlined bid process.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge was lit up in green and gold at 6pm in anticipation before Rugby Australia received the confirmation it was anxiously awaiting almost four hours later.
Rugby Australia (RA) CEO Andy Marinos estimated the two World Cups could bring between $50 and 60 million to the cash-strapped governing body and help return the sport to its glory days down under.
That forecast came after the organisation considered reverting to amateur status when it recorded a net deficit of $27.1 million for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It sets us up for what I think is going to be a golden age of rugby in this country,” RA president David Codey said.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper and Wallaroos skipper Shannon Parry said hosting the two events would inspire a new generation of young players.
“It’s pretty special,” Hooper said.
“The runway from this all comes together in the next 10 years of rugby. Not only with these World Cups but the (Brisbane 2032) Olympics with rugby’s involvement in the Olympics and what that looks like.
“It’s a pretty good time to be a young rugby player or looking to play rugby.”
Hooper, 30, said he would not be still playing to lead Australia into the tournament.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper, 30, will be only 35 by the time the World Cup is played on home soil, but just as he cruised over Sydney Harbour on the ferry he will be taking it easy by then.
“I’ll be sitting in the stands with a beer,” he said.