Friday, December 2, 2011

The USA are likely to bid to host RWC 2023, possibly with Canada

The United States of America are discussing a bid to stage Rugby World Cup 2023 which could involve Canada co-hosting, according to the chief executive of USA Rugby, Nigel Melville. The former England captain Melville said that the US had been asked to bid to host the sport's biggest competition for the first time, but did not say by whom.
"We were asked during the World Cup whether we would be prepared to bid for 2023. I know it seems like a very long way away for us all but we have to start those processes now so we are having a discussion about that," Melville said.

"Also Canada are interested in some sort of joint bid … could we do it together as north America? There would be opportunities in Toronto and Vancouver, and obviously bringing the tournament to north America would be a tremendous boost for us all."

The US have appeared in six of the seven World Cups, including the recently concluded tournament in New Zealand, where they beat Russia but failed to advance from their pool. Canada has played at every Rugby World Cup and defeated Tonga aand drew with Japan in the 2011 addition. In 1991 Canada reached the Quarter Finals.

Russia have already said they will bid to host the 2023 tournament and Melville said that he believed the US might be more successful in winning the right to stage the 2027 tournament while Argentina and South Africa have both commented that they both intend to also bid.

"Discussions are taking place and I get the feel that if we bid for 2023 we might not get it but in 2027 we might, but I don't think we will get 27 if we don't bid in 23.

"I think we have to start putting the wheels in motion now to bid for the World Cup; that way we can certainly put ourselves on the map as serious contenders."

The World Cup will be hosted by England in 2015 and then Japan in 2019, the first time the tournament will be staged outside either Europe or the southern hemisphere. Melville said a bid represented an opportunity to drive interest in the sport in America where rugby struggles for attention behind American Football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey.

"It is something we should be looking at. You need to look strategically at where we want rugby to be – would we be able to cope with it, have we got the infrastructure, have we got the stadia and the big question would be could we fill the stadiums?"

However, the inclusion of rugby sevens in the Olympics for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro has led to increased focus and funding for the sport in America. On Wednesday USA Rugby made an historical announcement in which 23 players will be signed by the union on ful time contracts.

With Thanks:


  1. what's the logic in the 2027 bid being boosted by losing 2023?

    I would love rugby in Russia and USA to grow, but 2023 is Argentina's time

    2019 is already given to a nation with a weak side to boost interest there, but 2023 should be given to a nation with trusted interest and pedigree such as Argentina or Italy

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I´d suggest it is a part of the plans to have Professional league in the USA within the next 18 months. Any party backing a domestic USA competition is going to think having the USA host, or bid to host, a rugby World Cup is extremely good press.

    Argentina 2023 is the way forward.