Rugby World Cup - Hosting Rights
Australia may host Rugby World Cup 2027
ESPN Staff
May 16, 2013
A close up view of the Webb Ellis Cup, awarded to the winners of the Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup may be heading back to Australia sooner than had been expected © IRB

Australia is in line to host Rugby World Cup 2027, 12 years before the country reasonably expected to next stage the tournament, with reports the International Rugby Board (IRB) is set to scrap the tradition of rotating the finals between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Rugby Gold reported on Thursday that the inclusion of Japan as the 2019 host nation, and potential new hosts such as Argentina, was set to see the tradition of rotation abandoned.

But heavy financial losses sustained by New Zealand in 2011 may see the IRB restrict subsequent hosting rights to nations capable of guaranteeing a profit because the organisation secures the majority of its revenue from the tournament. And such a decision could reduce the list of host nations to Australia, England, France and South Africa.

South Africa last hosted the tournament in 1995 and Rugby Gold reported it would be the likely front-runner to stage Rugby World Cup 2023. Australia, the Rugby World Cup 2003 host, could potentially stage the 2027 tournament as it would be considered "next in line" because France staged the 2007 finals and England will host the 2015 edition, Rugby Gold reported

Such a development will hearten Australian Rugby Union powerbrokers, as the union made $A35 million from the 2003 tournament but recently announced an $A8.4 million loss for 2012.

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver recently told ESPNscrum exclusively that the union might have to reduce player salaries due to disappointing financial forecasts because he expected the windfall from the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to be smaller than had been anticipated due to restricted sponsorship. He also said that Australia was unlikely to secure the Rugby World Cup until 2039 because of the rotation between the hemispheres.

© ESPN Australia / New Zealand

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