The goal of five World Cups will be confirmed on Thursday when the World Rugby Council in Dublin votes on the host countries for the upcoming tournaments.
As France prepares to welcome nations from around the world in 2023, there are still some other key decisions to be made for the men’s and women’s editions in the years to come.
England are the front runners in hosting the 2025 Women’s World Cup, while Australia are expected to host the 2027 Men’s World Cup and the women’s flagship two years later.
The US is set to receive the 2031 and 2033 editions, which would help the sport grow in the country as it does not have the history and tradition associated with England and Australia when it comes to rugby union.
President Joe Biden expressed his support for USA Rugby’s bid last month with a letter that was part of material submitted ahead of Thursday’s World Rugby Council meeting in Ireland, where a vote was followed by a press conference announcing the announcement of the respective host will take place.
USA international Nick Civetta will long be retired for the 2031 World Cup, but he insists his current teammates play a big part in America’s bid.
The United States meets Chile in a two-legged qualifier in July to decide who qualifies for the 2023 World Cup in France.
Civetta recently helped Oxford University to varsity success at Twickenham and believes it is imperative that the USA are represented in France next year.
“As a player and as someone who wants to go to this World Cup, I think we have a big role to play,” he told the PA news agency.
“We still have to qualify this summer and show World Rugby that we are a serious team. Covid was tough on the union, we played two years without a friendly and it absolutely destroyed our ability to develop players and prepare properly to qualify for this World Cup.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to qualify this summer and there’s a lot of energy in it.
“Obviously, in the long run, winning the World Cup would be huge. The amount of investment that could flow into esports in the US during this period and the opportunity is tremendous.
“It comes at a time when the MLR (Major League Rugby) is growing, the quality of the game is increasing every week and the visibility. These two things go really well together.
“If we could win the World Cup in the US, it would be a turning point for the finances of the game. Finances in the US have always been a problem, but having a goal set in stone ten years later should give many investors a lot of confidence and make a sea change.”
Former second row players from Newcastle and Doncaster, Civetta recently returned across the Atlantic to link up with Rugby New York, who ply their trade in the MLR – North America’s professional division.
While the MLR is still in its infancy, it is part of a long-term strategy to grow rugby in the United States and is closely linked to the 2031 and 2033 World Cup bids.
Critics of handing the tournament to a Tier 2 nation remain vocal, but Civetta believes a transformation of the sport similar to that seen in Japan, hosts of the last World Cup, could occur.
The US Rugby Players’ Association chairman added: “If we could have Japan’s trajectory it would be fantastic and a really ideal situation.
“The good thing about a nine to ten year timeframe is that money will flow into the MLR, but also into USA rugby so we’ll be able to better commit our player base, be better organized and bring people together more often.
“A big part of the challenge now is having time to prepare as a national team and the beauty of the MLR season is that it also coincides with our friendlies so there’s never a situation where you get the majority of your Guys miss time because they have MLR commitments or there are challenges from clubs.
“If we win the World Cup, that’s also a huge incentive for players who play in Europe, where there are only four or five, to bring them back to the US because the financial opportunities are much better.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/destination-of-five-rugby-world-cups-to-be-revealed-in-dublin-today-41638386.html Target of five Rugby World Cups to be announced in Dublin today