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Monday, October 12, 2015

Strongest Indications Yet U.S. To Bid For 2027 RWC


U.S.A. Rugby CEO has given his strongest indications yet that the U.S. will almost certainly be bidding for the 2027 Rugby World Cup. In speaking with World Rugby Melville said, “We went to the initial planning meetings for 2023 and agreed that the commercial model doesn’t work for us at this stage… but we will look to aim to host the 2027 World Cup." The U.S. attended meetings this last year where World Rugby laid out the criteria for hosting the 2023 World Cup but the U.S. were there more to get a gauge toward 2027 than actually bidding for 2023. France, Ireland, Italy, and South Africa will be voting for the 2023 edition.

The U.S. will be hosting the 7s World Cup in 2018 in what is largely seen as a warm-up or test event for the 15s World Cup. The new Rugby International Marketing is in charge of that tournament and would be in charge of planning the 2027 tournament. If the U.S. in fact do make a bid for the 2027 World Cup they stand a good chance of landing the tournament.

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Melville went on to add that “We look around the world to see where the opportunities (to grow the sport) are and you see nations like Tonga, Samoa and Fiji with potential but I think more emphasis should be placed on countries like China, Japan, Germany and the USA where rugby can have a really big impact."

“We need to keep growing the game in America," said Melville. "Our World Cup has been a little disappointing for us so we hope to change that and that means getting more broadcasters involved and more people seeing the game played.

“The first job for us now is to create a foundation and we have done that through our youth rugby programmes since 2008. We have two million kids between the ages of six and 12 playing the game in America and, in the future, they will become competent rugby players. There has been development with the game at college level and both our sevens sides have already qualified for next year’s Olympics in Rio. That is a big deal for USA Rugby, having made significant progress with the sevens team. We just need to transfer that to the 15s game and that will require a professional competition.”

6 comments:

  1. question is WHEN will we finally get word of this professional competition beginning?

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  2. Makes a lot more sense. Excitement for Japan 2019 has really built with Japan's results at the World Cup, so if they put on a good tournament, World Rugby will likely be more willing to take a go at giving the US one. Maybe a joint bid with Canada will present a stronger option.

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  3. That means getting more broadcasters involved and more people seeing the game played. Well said Mr. Melville

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  4. 2027 would be good as it allows for another 12 years to build up a fanbase. You are now talking about youth rugby players from age 6 to 18 will all be adults at that time, which brings in another generation of fans. It makes sense. I keep hear rumblings about USA Rugby getting a pro competition off the ground. If they could make that happen by Spring 2017 that would be awesome. That would provide 3 seasons of domestic pro rugby (assuming it doesn't go belly up after years 1 or 2) before the 2019 World Cup. That would be a great boon to the domestic players and allow for the integration of overseas pros back into the program as well. We would be that much stronger. There is hope for USA Rugby, but the next 4 years are going to be telling.

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  5. Broadcasters will want to get involved when they see some tangible interest from Americans wanting to watch. PPV games at $28-$30 isn't going to do it, neither are games on obscure cable channels like Universal Sports. A professional competition in North America will show, for good or ill, the prospects of high-class rugby on American television.

    Honestly, enough with the emphasis on 7's. How is that going to get people into XV's? Two almost entirely different games- beach volleyball to regular volleyball. Tom May said the same thing on ESPN Scrum today, that the Olympics will get Americans into rugby. I am highly skeptical.

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