Bids for World Cups to be awarded as part of a joint process again for men and women
The bids for the 2027 and 2031 Rugby World Cups will be part of a joint process for the first time in more than a decade, which should open the door for non-traditional rugby nations such as the United States or smaller nations such as Ireland to mount a successful bid.
And for the first time, the two men’s and women’s World Cups will be awarded at the same time. Nations will be able to tender to host the women’s tournaments in 2025 and 2029. The hosts of the four World Cups will be announced in the summer of 2022, with the process opening in February of next year.
With regard to the men, this is the first time this has been done since 2009, when England won the hosting rights for 2015 and Japan for 2019. The move to have the women’s tender process at the same time as the men’s comes after World Rugby decided last year to adopt gender-neutral branding for future tournaments with the word “Women’s” dropped and both tournaments being officially referred to as the Rugby World Cup.
Due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, World Rugby sees this as a chance for the sport to have a 10-year strategic hosting roadmap maximising certainty for unions, commercial partners, broadcasters and fans.
The Daily Telegraph understands that World Rugby was keen to return to a bidding process for two World Cup cycles as it would allow for there to be an alternation between traditional host nations and non-traditional rugby markets, as with Japan last year.