USA Rugby got a huge boost today as they will host the 2031 Rugby World Cup (men’s) and the 2033 Women’s Rugby World Cup. They will be hoping to replicate the success Japan had in the 2019 Rugby World Cup (men’s).
USA Rugby was given rights to host both Rugby World Cups
USA Rugby will be hoping to replicate the success of the 1994 FIFA World Cup (men’s). The big difference though is that there is a professional rugby union league currently in the US. There was no MLS and/or MLS had not even started when the US hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. This will surely make the event have more viewers and ticket holders for the games in the U.S.
It is important to note that Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is also involved as one of the bidding cities. According to the Canadian Press of Sportsnet, they expect 10-12 cities to host the 2031 Rugby World Cup and six-eight cities to host the 2033 Women’s Rugby World Cup. In the article, there are 28 cities listed to host at least one of the two events, including Vancouver.
The American cities as written in the Canadian Press article, are: “Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Cincinnati; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; New York/New Jersey; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; San Diego; San Francisco Bay Area; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.”
Also, Alex Lowe and Will Kelleher of The Times said that the 2031 Rugby World Cup could be expanded to 24 teams from 16 with a Round of 16. This would allow more cities to have a chance to host the 2031 Rugby World Cup. Also, this is welcome news for Rugby Canada, as this comes just a month after hiring their new CEO, Nathan Bombrys.
What hosting the 2033 Women’s and 2031 Rugby World Cup means for USA Rugby and Rugby Canada
The United States will host the Men’s and Women’s @rugbyworldcup in 2031 and 2033.
— Major League Rugby (@usmlr) May 12, 2022
It is a monumental day for both USA Rugby and Rugby Canada as World Rugby awarded USA Rugby two Rugby World Cups. It is important to remember that the Toronto Arrows, thanks to people like Bill Webb, currently play in Major League Rugby. There will most likely also be more cities with MLR teams in 2031 than now and that includes Canada as well. In Raheem Bashir’s first interview with MLR Commissioner, George Killebrew, Killebrew said that he would be interested in trying to get one-two more Canadian team(s) and one Mexican team by 2031 and that he would want 22-32 teams by 2031. Also, the Rugby World Cup in the U.S., will surely also boost the league’s potential. It also gives both nations something to obtain and achieve. The chance to become a tier 1 nation in the rugby union world like Japan had recently obtained is something both countries will be dreaming of.
Also, as bleak as it looks for Rugby Canada after failing to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, it is important to remember that the Canadian men’s soccer team faced a similar situation in 2014. Now, they have the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986. This is something Rugby Canada can look at for motivation.
Lastly, this event would take place after the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which takes place in the U.S. and the West Indies, the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which takes place in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. There is also the 2028 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Los Angeles. So, the rugby union world can look at the 2026 FIFA World Cup as a precedent for the 2033 Women’s Rugby and 2031 Rugby World Cup.
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