The Council of World Rugby approved revisions to the host selection process of Rugby World Cup, granting the exclusive status of Preferred Candidate to England for Rugby World Cup 2025 (women) and Australia for Rugby World Cup 2027 (men), confirming that USA will enter a specific dialogue exclusively for Rugby World Cup 2031 within a model focused on building meaningful associations between World Rugby and potential host countries.
On the other hand, the women’s event of 2029 is still under discussion, without any country having yet reached sufficient levels of interest to participate in a more specific dialogue.
“The Preferred Candidate process will introduce a new philosophy for potential hosts to present a flexible approach with lodging proposals that are better suited to sport, economic, social and environmental planning needs rather than trying to adapt the local context to a headquarters model established for Rugby World Cup. The ultimate goal is to create a delivery model that maximizes financial and operational efficiency, while unlocking greater value for hosts and the global development of rugby, with a strong emphasis on building sustainable relationships with host countries, expanding fan and commercial appeal. The new Rugby World Cup model will make World Rugby take more direct responsibility for hosting its summit events. “, according to a statement from World Rugby.
The granting of the status of Preferred Candidate comes after an extensive dialogue during the last year with the interested countries. It comes with the full support of the respective unions and key financial commitments from their governments, allowing rugby to move forward with a clear roadmap for the next 10 years. Definitive headquarters rights will be granted by the Council in May 2022.
In addition to awarding Preferred Candidate status to England and Australia, the World Rugby Council voted to implement a series of exclusive discussions with the United States regarding the organization of the Rugby World Cup 2031. As an emerging rugby market with a tour of 10 Years to the tournament in 2031, the United States will require a unique and extended approach with the need for a broader dialogue among key stakeholders. This dialogue will be conducted with a view to developing the most effective hosting model for a Rugby World Cup in North America and long-term global play.