The process to determine future hosts of the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups has officially kicked off with the start of the Dialogue phase, enabling interested nations to start to shape bids that are great for hosts and rugby, World Rugby reports.
World Rugby is running an innovative integrated process to
determine hosts of the 2025 and 2029 women’s events, and the 2027 and 2031
men’s events. The approach will provide the sport with hosting and revenue
certainty for the game over the next 10 years, in line with the ‘game-changer’
objectives of its new strategic plan.
With collaboration and transparency at the heart of the
process, the three phases – Dialogue, Candidate and Evaluation – will, for the
first time, facilitate bespoke bids that optimise the objectives of the hosts
and the global growth of the sport.
Underscoring World Rugby’s emphasis on transparency, the
international federation’s Council will select the four future hosts at its
Annual Meeting in May 2022 via an open electronic vote after considering a
risk-based evaluation, rather than a recommendation, setting new standards in
best-practice. Multi-nation bids are being welcomed.
The process is designed to make hosting even more attractive
and accessible to more nations, fostering partnerships via collaboration to
develop bespoke bids that optimise strategic objectives for host nations and
the global game.
World Rugby has paved the way for interested nations to
enter the process with a running start, having engaged extensively with a
number of member unions during a ‘Pre-Dialogue’ phase that has been designed to
optimise knowledge and information transfer and therefore minimise overall bid
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont welcomed the
milestone: “Today represents an important milestone in the future of the sport
and is a positive way to accelerate into 2021. We are hugely encouraged by both
the interest and level of conversations to date, which reflects the attractiveness
of this new approach.
“Rugby World Cup is all about unity and this process marks a
bold, best-practice approach for the sport. By awarding four hosts at the same
time, the sport will have long-term strategic certainty, enabling us to advance
commercial and broadcast partnerships and maximise revenue for reinvestment
across our unions and the wider game.
“It is also an accessible and inclusive process. It is
important for everyone that the costs of bidding are minimised and therefore by
jointly building bespoke bids we can ensure an approach that is good for
nations and good for rugby, maximising participation, societal and economic
returns for all.”
The last men's Rugby World Cup in 2019 attracted the
biggest-ever domestic broadcast audience for a rugby match of more than 54
million and a participation boost of over 750,000, while a recent Nielsen study
confirmed it delivered a significant boost to national pride.