Cup bid under threat
ENGLAND could be forced to withdraw their bid to stage the 2015 rugby World Cup because of the demands being imposed by the world’s governing body.
The IRB are understood to have installed a clause that any bidding nation must guarantee a profit return to them of more than £70million.
With the world’s economy in financial meltdown, RFU chief executive Francis Baron believes the IRB need to completely rethink the bidding procedure, which he says places a “massive risk” on the bidding union.
He said: “Home unions now have to commit to paying a very large tournament fee to the IRB that has to be guaranteed and underwritten.
“This has changed the financial dynamics of bidding substantially and puts an absolutely massive financial risk on the bidding union.
“Our initial predictions make it unlikely that England could actually make a profit out of hosting a World Cup in 2015.”
England’s reluctance to go it alone would raise the ugly prospect of another mix-and-match tournament, where games are shared between the four home unions. It is a model that has been proved to fail, but Baron believes it could be the only solution.
He said: “We have had discussions with Wales and Ireland separately, so we are talking to our fellow home unions.”