Friday, May 27, 2011

Argentina can host a Rugby World Cup Alone

Following the controversial announcement of New Zealand as host of Rugby World Cup 2011 instead of the widely favored option of Japan, the IRB announced a number of changes for future Rugby World Cup tournaments.

One announcement was that the preference was for single country hosts and no repeat of France 2007 which had Scotland hosting two matches and Wales hosting four. Matches played in France received strong attendances with all ten venues having sell out crowds. Matches regarded as being hard to market were also highly successful with over 55,000 attending Argentina vs Namibia in Marseilles and Fiji vs Japan being full in Toulouse. Matches in Scotland and Wales, in contrast, proved to be failures. Scotland vs Romania received 31,000 fans despite being played in Edinburgh and Wales vs Japan receieved around 35,000 despite being played in Cardiff. Interestingly, Wales vs Canada and Wales vs Fiji both played in the French city of Nantes recieved strong crowds of over 37,000. Moreover, Scotland vs Portugal played in St. Ettiene attracted a larger crowd than the match vs Romania.

The failure of the two sub-hosts in 2007 delieved a clear message that not only were they surplus to requirements but they also took away some of the prestige of the tournament. The IRB subsequently stated that future Rugby World Cup´s would be hosted within one country and not shared. In addition, games played outside the host nation would need to be justified strongly. It comes as a great shock, therefore, that the IRB has agreed to a request from England to have Wales act as a subhost for Rugby World Cup 2015. Wales has hosted games in all three tournaments played in Europe thus far and will host for the fourth time in 2015. The Millenium Stadium is world class and arguably the best rugby stadium on the planet. But this matters not as it is not located in England, the nation selected to host Rugby World Cup 2015. Furthermore, the stadium is surplus to requirements as England has an impressive list of stadiums that will not be used at all for Rugby World Cup 2015.

Should Argentina host Rugby World Cup 2023 it would do so alone, with no subhosts and there is no need to do so. Uruguay could potentially act as a sub host similar to Wales for England 2015 in that Montevideo is located close to Buenos Aires and easily accessible from eastern Argentine cities in provinces ranging from Santá Fé to Missiones. However, crucially, it is not an Argentine city and therefore should only be used if no alternative can be found within Argentina itself. Argentina has a list of complete stadiums which could host Rugby World Cup matches and, overall, are significantly larger than those for Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. Argentina could therefore successfully host by going alone and utilizing a nation wide list of 12 stadiums potentially as follows:

- Avellaneda (46,000)
- Buenos Aires (River Plate - 67,000)
- Córdoba (57,000)
- La Plata (53,000)
- Mar del Plata (35,000)
- Mendoza (45,000)
- Resistencia (25,000)
- Rosario (41,000)
- Salta (20,000)
- San Juan (25,000)
- San Salvador de Jujuy (24,000)
- Santa Fé (40,000)
- Tucumán (32,000)


  1. How about hosting one in Port Stanley? !!!!!

  2. Could have at least one game in Uruguay?