Key elements approved for future RWC awarding

Future men’s and women’s World Cup hosts will be determined by an open vote following consideration of a risk-based technical evaluation.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the World Rugby council has approved a progressive package of recommendations by the Rugby World Cup board to select RWC hosts via a ‘transparent, best-practice host selection process’.

The council, at its interim meeting last week, confirmed the awarding of rugby’s flagship women’s (2025 and 2029) and men’s (2027 and 2031) Rugby World Cups will be determined by an open vote.

The key decisions taken are:

  • The council will consider a risk-based evaluation of candidate bids by the Rugby World Cup board and independent experts, rather than a recommendation
  • The awarding of the next two men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups will be determined by an open electronic vote (the results of which will be published)
  • Where the decision involves only single nation bids, no bidder will vote in the award decision (as previously)
  • Where the decision involves a joint nation bid versus a single nation bid, the following process will apply: Both the single nation and joint nation bid unions may vote. The single nation bidder will retain its existing council vote allocation. Voting rights for a joint nation bid will be capped at a maximum of three votes (being the maximum number of votes that any union represented on council is entitled to).

These decisions reflect best practice in major sports-event host selection and will ensure Rugby World Cup is accessible and attractive to a wide range of potential hosts when the process kicks off next year and ensure an outcome that is good for the host nations and great for the global game.

The decision has been welcomed by a growing number of interested parties ahead of the formal process commencing in February 2021, and builds on the availability of dedicated pitch documents to assist key stakeholders shape business models for their bid that maximise social, economic and sporting outcomes.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: ‘In my second term, I have strived to implement key governance enhancements that injects further transparency, clarity and consistency into our decision-making processes and Rugby World Cup is at the centre of that strategy as our flagship men’s and women’s event and major driver of revenue.

‘The decision taken by my council colleagues will ensure that we are able to advance with a world-class host selection process that will deliver a robust 10-year growth strategy for the sport as we collectively look to rebound from the pandemic and optimise revenue certainty for reinvestment in the sport at all levels.’

Confirmation of these core elements follows the announcement of the key phases and timelines for the groundbreaking dual awarding process and the publication of detailed ‘impact’ reports that detail the proven benefits of Rugby World Cup hosting for host nations.

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Craig Lewis