Rugby opens new frontier by picking US as World Cup hosts

The Rugby World Cup will be staged in the United States for the first time in 2031 after the game’s governing body named the host nations for five men’s and women’s tournaments.

Australia will hold the men’s World Cup in 2027 with the women’s tournaments going to England (2025), Australia (2029) and the United States (2033).

“Today, 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,” said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.

USA Rugby chief executive Ross Young said: “We look forward to partnering with World Rugby in the years ahead to ensure that our preparations for these tournaments and the events themselves are a paradigm-shifting catalyst for the growth of our sport, not only here in the United States but around the world.”

Officials were determined to avoid a repeat of the situation when South Africa was chosen as the preferred venue for the 2023 World Cup by an independent assessment panel only to lose out in a subsequent vote to France.

By taking the event to the United States, rugby chiefs hope to make a dent in a profitable market dominated by home-grown sports such as American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey.

Japan reached the last eight of their home World Cup three years ago in a tournament won by South Africa.

In order to help boost the competitiveness of teams such as the United States, officials are trying to restructure the existing July and November international windows to ensure they have more meaningful games between World Cups — a thorny issue since the sport turned professional in 1995.

Eddie Jones, the then Australia coach, is now in charge of England.

“It’s a game-changer for rugby in this country, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revitalize and secure the future of the sport here and see the game we all love grow and thrive for years to come.”

Sue Day, the chief operating officer of England’s Rugby Football Union, and herself a former England captain, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the 2025 women’s World Cup — it’s going to be incredible.

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Originally published as Rugby opens new frontier by picking US as World Cup hosts

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