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United States hosts Rugby World Cup as sport pushes new frontiers | Rugby World Cup

The USA will host its first-ever men’s Rugby World Cup in 2031, while Australia was confirmed as the host country for the 2027 competition after 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 being held in the USA for the first time.

The World Rugby Council has approved England as the host country 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 revised host country determination model, which is being hailed as a “game changer” by the governing body.

The decision to host the competition in the United States will be a historic milestone for the sport as World Rugby is confident of building rugby union’s profile over the nine years to 2031 and capitalizing on the commercial opportunities available. The bid received support from US President Joe Biden, although the US is not sure of a place at the 2023 World Cup and non-qualification would mean a setback.

For Australia, the World Cup comes two years after the British & Irish Lions’ planned tour, and with the women’s competition following 24 months later, it “represents a unique opportunity to revitalize and secure the future of the Australian sport,” according to the Union President Hamish McLennan.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We have approved three exceptional Rugby World Cup host nations – England, Australia and the USA – which offer unprecedented security and an unprecedented opportunity to enhance the growth and impact of rugby worldwide accelerate. It’s great for rugby, for fans and for the host nations.

“The confirmation of the venues is supported by a new partnership approach to hosting events that will drive long-term, sustainable development, including in the US and across women’s football, and allow the sport to realize its global potential on and off the field that bring significant social and economic benefits to host countries. Today is a milestone for the sport and an exciting development for fans. I want to congratulate everyone who has helped make this dream a reality as we strive to offer a truly global sport for all.”

Current favorites to win the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand this autumn, England are looking to capitalize on growing interest in women’s football. It is intended to sell out Twickenham for the final and Rugby Football Union are understood to have received £14.5m in funding from the Government to further develop their legacy programme.

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RFU Chief Operating Officer and former England captain Sue Day said: “We are thrilled to be hosting Rugby World Cup 2025, it’s going to be amazing. We would like to thank the government for their support to make this possible. Working closely with Government, UK Sport, Sport England and World Rugby we will create an enduring legacy for women’s rugby in England, Great Britain and around the world, both to get more people to play and to attract new fans to win.

“As we have seen at other home World Cups in cricket, hockey and netball, a Rugby World Cup will further advance women’s sport as a whole. The tournament will also bring significant economic benefits across the country.”

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