IRB tender next World Cups simultaneously
PA Sport
July 8, 2008

The host nations for the 2015 and 2019 World Cups will both be unveiled in July next year.

The International Rugby Board begin the tender process this month when they will invite all member unions to express their interest in staging the competition.

Unions will be able to submit a bid to host either the 2015 or 2019 tournament, or just one of the two.

Every previous World Cup has been awarded to a major nation but Lapasset has indicated that the Rugby World Cup board are ready to broaden the sport's horizons.

New Zealand secured the rights for 2011, beating the populist choice of Japan who won many neutrals over with an accomplished bid only to lose the vote 13-8.

Japan were angered by what they viewed as a carve-up among the sport's major nations, with the decision to retain secret voting causing further dismay over the process.

But the emerging nation may consider producing a fresh bid in light of Lapasset's comments, while the likes of Argentina and Canada may also be interested.

"The success of Rugby World Cup since its inception in 1987 has been remarkable. In those 20 years it has grown into one of the top five sporting events in the world. Rugby World Cup 2007 enjoyed a cumulative global TV audience of 4 billion while 2.2 million fans attended matches. Its success has led to more players and spectators being attracted to the game," said International Rugby Board and Rugby World Cup Ltd. Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"It is vital we continue to maximise the popularity and success of the tournament. It is the major building block of the Game as it provides substantial investment revenue for the development of Rugby around the world. Rugby World Cup 2007 generated a surplus of over £120 million which has been reinvested into the Game through grants to Unions, the underwriting of international tournaments and the funding of targeted strategic high performance programmes to increase the competitiveness of the Game.

"RWC 2007 had an economic impact of around £2.5bn in France. Governments and host nations benefit hugely from staging a Rugby World Cup and we are looking forward to the continued close involvement of governments in future tournaments.

"The IRB believes that awarding two tournaments together will provide a better timeframe for tournament planning and provide longer term certainty for hosts and commercial partners."

"As the revenue generation is vital to our ongoing development plans we recognise that Rugby World Cup has to be held in one of our senior core markets on a regular basis. However, the commercial success of the tournament also means we can now consider placing the tournament in new developing markets to assist the Game's strategic growth. It is all about finding the right mix," added Lapasset.

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