Bids for World Cups to be awarded as part of a joint process again for men and women

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Kate Rowan

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.

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