Australia launch bid for 2027 World Cup

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan while the 2023 event was controversially awarded to France last month.

Picture: Supplied

SYDNEY - Australia have launched bids to host the men’s Rugby World Cup in 2027 and the women’s event in 2021, Rugby Australia (RA) said on Wednesday.

The day after the organisation introduced Raelene Castle as their first female chief executive, they also announced a national women’s 15-a-side tournament starting next March.

It will complement the sevens competition launched this year to capitalise on the success of the Australian women’s team at the Rio Games where they won rugby’s first Olympic gold medal since 1924.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan while the 2023 event was controversially awarded to France last month after voters ignored a World Rugby evaluation report that said South Africa had the strongest bid.

Australia were the sole hosts of the tournament in 2003 and co-hosts with New Zealand in the inaugural World Cup in 1987.

The nation has never hosted the women’s World Cup. The eighth version was held in Ireland earlier this year, where Australia finished sixth.

“The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle for our Wallabies and Wallaroos teams and we want to bring those tournaments home for any player, boy or girl, man or woman, whoever dreamed of lifting the Cup here on our home soil,” RA chairman Cameron Clyne said in a statement.

RA had said last month they were interested in hosting future World Cups, with the decision by the New South Wales state government to spend around A$2 billion demolishing and renovating three Sydney venues a factor in Wednesday’s announcement.

“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,” Clyne added.

That expenditure, however, has caused uproar in Australia’s largest city, with an online petition launched by former Wallabies lock Peter Fitzsimons last week attracting almost 150,000 signatures in opposition.

South Africa, who have bid for the last four World Cups, have not hosted the event since 1995 and could loom as major challengers for Australia in 2027, while New Zealand may throw its hat into the ring for the 2021 women’s tournament.