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Thursday, May 26, 2022
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U.S. to Host Rugby World Cup


Carlin Isles (L) of the United States holds offs Seabelo Senatla of South Africa during the USA Sevens Rugby tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Image by David Becker / Getty Images

The United States will host a Rugby World Cup for the first time after being unanimously voted as the host for the men’s tournament in 2031 and the women’s tournament in 2033.

World Rugby announced the host nations for all the World Cups from 2025 to 2033 during a meeting of its council in Dublin on Thursday.

The tournaments are held every four years, with the women’s version two years after the men’s. At the council on Thursday, England was selected to host the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup, with Australia picked to host back-to-back tournaments in 2027 (men) and 2029 (women).

The 2021 women’s tournament was delayed due to the pandemic and, as a result, is taking place this year in New Zealand. France was previously chosen in 2017 to host the 2023 men’s tournament.

“Today, we have approved three exceptional Rugby World Cup host nations — England, Australia and USA — providing unprecedented certainty and an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate the growth and impact of rugby globally. It is great for rugby, for fans and for the host nations,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said in a press release.

“Today is a landmark moment for the sport, and an exciting development for fans. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this dream a reality as we look to deliver a truly global sport for all,” Beaumont added.

Beaumont said that the tournament in the U.S. will help the sport realize its global potential. It will be only the second Rugby World Cup in North America, following the women’s tournament staged in Canada in 2006.

USA Rugby chief executive Ross Young said the tournaments in the U.S. will be a “paradigm-shifting catalyst for the growth of our sport, not only here in the United States but around the world.”

“I speak for the rugby community and fans across the United States when I express our sincere gratitude to World Rugby for their trust in and endorsement of our vision to grow this incredible sport exponentially across our country,” said Young. “USA Rugby will now venture into a new era and ensure the sport’s most treasured event is a springboard for creating lasting, sustainable enthusiasm and passion for rugby from coast to coast.”

Staging the two tournaments will cost around $500 million, with World Rugby and USA Rugby splitting costs and revenues. The tournament takes place throughout October and November, during which 25 U.S. cities could potentially host matches, including Dallas, Austin, and Houston.

The men’s Rugby World Cup is regarded in some places as the third largest sporting event, after the men’s soccer World Cup and the Summer Olympics. The U.S. is hosting all three in five years, starting with the 2026 men’s soccer World Cup and the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

“The unparalleled growth made possible by bringing the world’s third-largest sports event and the fastest growing women’s event to the world’s largest sports market cannot be overstated,” USA Rugby said.

The U.S. bid to host the tournaments received governmental support. In April, President Joe Biden sent a letter to World Rugby expressing his support for the “development of rugby in the United States.”

Biden added the U.S. government is looking forward to helping “deliver the most successful Rugby World Cups in history.”

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