Rugby Australia is hoping to host two Rugby World Cups within seven years of each other, after signalling its intention to bid for both the women’s and men’s tournaments in 2021 and 2027 respectively.
The governing body was quick to build on Tuesday’s announcement of Raelene Castle as chief executive, unveiling not only the twin World Cup bids but also a national women’s competition dubbed “Super W”.
The intention to host the Women’s World Cup in 2021 comes as no surprise given the growth in playing numbers across both XVs and sevens in recent years. But a third Rugby World Cup is indeed a shock, with there being little talk of the battle for the William Webb Ellis trophy returning Down Under since Australia last hosted the event back in 2003.
“As we edge closer to the 15th anniversary of the last Rugby World Cup played in Australia, regarded by many as the greatest in the tournament’s history, we are excited to confirm that Rugby Australia will bid for the hosting rights for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2021 and the 2027 (Men’s) Rugby World Cup,” Rugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne said via media release.
“The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle for our Qantas Wallabies and Buildcorp Wallaroos teams and we want to bring those tournaments home for any player, boy or girl, man or woman, who ever dreamed of lifting the Cup here on our home soil.
“The Women’s World Cup is growing from strength to strength off the back of an incredible tournament in Ireland this year and given Australia’s track record in hosting major events, we are supremely confident of delivering a tournament like no other in 2021.”
Clyne alluded to the NSW State Government’s planned stadium overhaul, which will see new world-class venues built in Moore Park as well as the 2000 Olympic compound at Homebush, as a key reason why it was time the sport’s biggest events headed Down Under.
“With the NSW Government’s commitment to build a network of three world-class rectangular venues in Sydney, adding to the mix of quality stadiums available across the country, our prospects of bringing the World Cups to Australia have never been better.
“Without this leadership and vision from Government, Australian sports fans simply wouldn’t have access to the world’s biggest sporting events.
“There has never been a more exciting time in the women’s game and we are looking forward to the inaugural ‘Super W’ competition kicking off in March before the second edition of the Aon Women’s University Sevens Series in August.”
Australia co-hosted the inaugural men’s World Cup in 1987 with New Zealand, before being the soul host in 2003 when Clive Woodward’s England prevailed over the Wallabies in the final in extra-time.