United States to host Rugby World Cup as sport breaks new boundaries
- US to host men’s 2031 and women’s 2033 editions for first time
- England to host next women’s World Cup in 2025
The USA will stage its first ever men’s Rugby World Cup in 2031 while Australia have been confirmed as the host nation for the 2027 competition following a World Rugby council meeting in Dublin. Australia will host the competition for the first time since 2003, when England were crowned champions, while the tournament will break new ground by taking place in the USA for the first time.
World Rugby’s council also rubber-stamped England as the host nation for the 2025 women’s World Cup as well as Australia and the USA for the 2029 and 2033 tournaments respectively as part of its revamped model of determining host countries, hailed as a “game-changer” by the governing body.
The decision to stage the competition in the USA will be a historic landmark for the sport with World Rugby confident of building rugby union’s profile in the nine-year lead up to 2031 and taking advantage of the commercial opportunities available. The bid was given backing by the US president Joe Biden, though the USA are not certain of a place at the 2023 World Cup and failure to qualify would represent a setback.
For Australia, the World Cup comes two years after the British & Irish Lions are set to tour and with the women’s competition following 24 months later, it represents ‘“a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revitalise and secure the future of the sport”, according to the union’s chairman, Hamish McLennan.
The World Rugby chairman, Bill Beaumont, said: “We have approved three exceptional Rugby World Cup host nations – England, Australia and USA – providing unprecedented certainty and an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate the growth and impact of rugby globally. It is great for rugby, for fans and for the host nations.
“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. 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.”
England are the current favourites to win this autumn’s women’s World Cup in New Zealand and are seeking to capitalise on the groundswell of interest generated in the women’s game. The intention is to sell out Twickenham for the final and it is understood the Rugby Football Union has secured £14.5m in funding from the government to develop its legacy programme.
The RFU’s chief operating officer and former England captain Sue Day said: “We are thrilled to be hosting Rugby World Cup 2025, it is going to be incredible. We would like to thank government for their support in making this possible. Working closely with government, UK Sport, Sport England and World Rugby together we will create a lasting legacy for women’s rugby in England, the UK and across the world, both in terms of attracting more people to play and attracting new fans.
“As we have seen from other home World Cups in cricket, hockey and netball, a Rugby World Cup will further advance all women’s sport. The tournament will also deliver significant economic benefits right across the country.”