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Wednesday Nov 10, 2021

Australia say they're the safe bet for RWC 2027, compared to USA

Australia are positioning their bid as the risk-free option in the competition with the USA to stage the 2027 World Cup.

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With Russia and Qatar falling out of the race to succeed France as hosts for rugby’s global showpiece, it is down to two nations to convince World Rugby they are the rightful destination when the decision is made in May next year.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan sees it as a contest between a “safe pair of hands” and the more perilous alternative of awarding it to a tier-two country thrashed 104-14 by New Zealand last month.

“We’re a known rugby nation, so we have got a rich heritage,” said McLennan, who stressed the importance of holding the event south of the equator for the first time since 2011.

“Tourists and fans love coming to Australia, so we know we’re a safe pair of hands, will do it professionally and be able to deliver the financial returns to World Rugby.

“The one thing I’d say is that in the US, rugby is a relatively immature sport. Objectively, they’ve got to build a team up.

“You saw the score for the US team against the All Blacks – I think they need time to invest in their team and build their stocks up.

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“At some point it would be great to have it there, but you want it to be a success. You want to make sure they’ve got their pathway sorted out, you’ll have full stadiums and it works as an event.”

The USA are also bidding to host the 2031 World Cup and McLennan said: “That tournament could be perfect for them.

“We’re absolutely committed to this. We’re absolutely keen to put on the most professional event and do a great job for everyone involved in rugby.

“The support for the game is there in Australia, but what the World Cup would do is put it on steroids.

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“It would give us five years to promote the game and also put a lot of government support and investment back into the game. It would take it to another level.

“We could survive without it, but it would be a tremendously fabulous thing if we did get it.”

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