Rugby World Cup Hosts 2025-2033: What did we learn about the golden decade of Rugby?
At the World Rugbymedia event on Thursday, 12 May 2022, following the confirmation of the hosts of the Rugby World Cup Hosts 2025-2033, a star-studded series of panels from the successful host nations (England, Australia, and the USA) fielded questions from global media.
We have had time to reflect on the announcements and scanned the global rugby media on the announcements to pick out some of the key talking points such as ambitious goals to achieve a one billion dollar Rugby World Cup in the next decade in terms of revenue – in what has been coined the proposed golden decade of Rugby.
What are the new models for RWC delivery?
Several senior World Rugby guests were in attendance and Dominic Rumbles, World Rugby Chief Communications Officer, hosted the ensuing media conferences with members from each host nation present.
The World Rugby Council approved a new model that will “see World Rugby form partnerships with national unions and governments to establish a local delivery structure in each nation.”
The senior World Rugby members presented the model as a “strategic plan to provide hosting certainty for Rugby World Cups and stimulate the dynamic development of rugby globally by engaging with more fans and unlocking new revenue streams for increased investment in the sport. This includes a roadmap to accelerate the sport’s advancement in the USA and increased investment in the women’s game.”
Rugby World Cup Hosts 2025-2033
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The confirmation of host locations is supported by a new partnership approach to event delivery, that will power long-term, sustainable development, including in the USA and across the women’s game, enabling the sport to realise its global potential on and off the field, driving significant social and economic benefits for host nations.”
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin added: “A partnership approach will enable us to develop robust strategic objectives that are great for the host nation and great for rugby and build efficiencies of delivery and resourcing, helping to reduce hosting costs from the outset, while maximising fan engagement, revenue and delivery opportunities. All of which will lead to even greater direct investment back into the game at all levels.”
The presentation made it known that the model would allow the hosts to have a flexible approach that best fits their local needs and strengths and that the key impacts would be in three areas in the coming years.
Director of women’s rugby Sally Horrox, suggested there are three big priorities
- Increasing the sport’s profile – which includes amendments to laws making the sport as attractive as possible.
- Increasing investment – Growing rugby globally and sustainably
- Advancing the sport’s professional and commercial development – Development of women’s rugby RWC and the WXV (which starts in 2023)
There is also an excellent summary of the financials involved and proposed in hosting the Rugby World Cup offered by Nqobile Ndlovu published on Cashnsport.
Alan Gilpin introduced the phrase that these opportunities and partnerships will be “rugby’s golden decade to come.”
For all of the excitement of the model from a World Rugby perspective, we have also had sources tell us that the way France has managed the RWC 2023 and effectively steered the event forced the change to the hosting model.
The bidding process was also one that was forced into a change after the hosting rights to award France RWC 2023 were viewed as controversial and left both Ireland and South Africa aggrieved.
Embracing tech innovation on the RWC roadmap?
We would be interested to hear any technology roadmaps to engage with current and new fans for the upcoming Rugby World Cups?
Alan Gilpin answered the question by saying “It’s a good question. We are always looking at new technology whether that’s for broadcast technology or making the game more entertaining for viewers at home or technology at the venues, again not just the spectator experience but the technology we use officiating the matches….
We are in that world now where everyone is talking about NFTs, the metaverse, and that’s obviously again a brave new world that we are entering to engage with more people and make the game more accessible. So, yes there is a huge amount of innovation coming up.”
Media coverage of Rugby World Cup Hosts 2025-2033 announcements
Editors Note – it was interesting to see the reaction of fans and media in some countries to Rugby World Cup Hosts 2025-2033. South African fans voiced their anger but the South Africa Rugby Union (as far as we can ascertain) did not bid for the RWC 2027 or RWC 2031.
Some of their popular rugby media even glossed right past the fact that women’s rugby world cup hosts were also a key part of the announcements!
There has also been an overall reaction that smaller sized traditional rugby nations might not get to host a Rugby World Cup again (such as New Zealand).
Hamish Bidwell writes for RugbyPass (which also unashamedly tries to get emotive reactions in its content) that as a Kiwi fan he fears the game will lose its traditional fans. We would argue that that’s the sort of view that will hinder the growth of the sport in developing regions such as Asia.
“Take World Cups to America, China, Korea, Dubai, wherever you like. Just don’t be surprised or offended when folk in actual rugby nations lose heart and interest” wrote Bidwell.
We will be publishing more articles with a focus on each host – stay tuned!
Rugby Tournament News
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- Pacific Nations Cup 2022 returns in July.
- Rugby World Cup Sevens Cape Town.
- New Asia Rugby Championship 2022 Dates.