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RWC 2023 USA?


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So...how bout the IRB look at getting the ruck and maul game onto the big stage of the US in 13 years? I know, we're talking crystal ball gazing but with NZ approaching 2011, England getting the tourney in 2015 and Japan locked in for 2019 why not keep the expansion of the so-called second biggest football world championship on a roll?

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I'd imagine they'll go for a safe option in 2023 - I'd guess either Australia, South Africa or perhaps France or even Italy (which would be a risky safe bet, but safer than the USA). 2027 is probably a better bet, but not sure there is the will in the game for it to go to the US yet - they'd be greater benefits in getting it into South America and Argentina.

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I agree. I think 2023 is South Africa's to lose. It'll be well SANZAR's turn again by then after two editions up north, and Oz and NZ have had their seconds already. SA will be hard to beat.

But if the IRB decide to do a double-bid again to encourage a new frontier, I couldn't think of a better and stronger contender for 2027 than a North American one - be it USA-Canada or just the US alone.

BTW, PS Baron, this is the Rugby World Cup.

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yes. South Africa has technically lost 3 successive World Cup bids.

We're catching up on Detroit.

However Mo why not look at the immense benefits to the sport of a successful US RWC was held in 2023 (and considering how important the 2010 WC in South Africa was for African football I'm sure you can see the value in taking rugby to the US in 2023). There will undoubtedly issues relating to the overall popularity of the sport in the US however it's not as if infrastructure and venues would be a problem. Plus with a long lead in time thanks to the decision to already sort out 2015 and 2019 there could be a far more developed lead in to educate the American sporting public, get high ranked teams into the US, perhaps improve the standard of the domestic and international American rugby teams and get the game into a similar standing as say the first year of so of the MLS. Plus the IRB would be in a decent position financially thanks to the revenue stream that the entire North American region could bring in (and perhaps even decent coverage in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile).

If there is one thing aside from the Northern Hemisphere kick and chase game which is killing rugby's hopes for expansion it is the 'old boys club' of powerhouse nations. The allure of seeing Australia or the four nations or NZ or South Africa host repeatedly is not as exciting as say Japan or the US (or even Italy as BB suggests). So instead of waiting for the sport to break out of colleges in the US and relying on expats lets see if the IRB can actually stick a firecracker up the arse of the established rugby heirarchy with a full blown American experience.

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However Mo why not look at the immense benefits to the sport of a successful US RWC was held in 2023 (and considering how important the 2010 WC in South Africa was for African football I'm sure you can see the value in taking rugby to the US in 2023). There will undoubtedly issues relating to the overall popularity of the sport in the US however it's not as if infrastructure and venues would be a problem. Plus with a long lead in time thanks to the decision to already sort out 2015 and 2019 there could be a far more developed lead in to educate the American sporting public, get high ranked teams into the US, perhaps improve the standard of the domestic and international American rugby teams and get the game into a similar standing as say the first year of so of the MLS. Plus the IRB would be in a decent position financially thanks to the revenue stream that the entire North American region could bring in (and perhaps even decent coverage in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile).

If there is one thing aside from the Northern Hemisphere kick and chase game which is killing rugby's hopes for expansion it is the 'old boys club' of powerhouse nations. The allure of seeing Australia or the four nations or NZ or South Africa host repeatedly is not as exciting as say Japan or the US (or even Italy as BB suggests). So instead of waiting for the sport to break out of colleges in the US and relying on expats lets see if the IRB can actually stick a firecracker up the arse of the established rugby heirarchy with a full blown American experience.

That's all very well, but the IRB IS the established Rugby Old Farts heirarchy - the only way they could be dragged kicking and screaming to vote for Japan, after being so roundly cristicised for choosing NZ over Nippon for 2011, was to have the 2015 and 2019 bidding done together. The power and networks of the Olde Unions in the IRB is too strong without that bit of leeway. 2023 is definitely an Old Boys hosting.

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:) If you mean South Africa as an 'old boy' than yes. Got to remember that Rugby is still 'our' game. Just as FIFA is ruled by Europe. So I do think it's appropriate that a trusted regular hosts between frontier RWC arenas, and the USA is very much still one of those.
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That's all very well, but the IRB IS the established Rugby Old Farts heirarchy - the only way they could be dragged kicking and screaming to vote for Japan, after being so roundly cristicised for choosing NZ over Nippon for 2011, was to have the 2015 and 2019 bidding done together. The power and networks of the Olde Unions in the IRB is too strong without that bit of leeway. 2023 is definitely an Old Boys hosting.

Sad to say I suspect you are right Rols...and therefore it is no surprise Rugby is still languishing far behind football as a world game and only has a tenuous hold in marginal markets. It may be more international than Rugby League or the North American footballs (Canadian/American gridiron), and of course has some fanatical and well funded support in certain countries. However Rugby will continue to lose out so long as the same tweed jacketed blues sit around at Twickenham drinking their Pimms and wallowing in memories of Johnny Wilkinson's kicking. The mentality that has seen Rugby slowly dying in Australia is contagious and the only hold outs are the Kiwis, the southern French, the Oxbridge English types, mostly white South Africans and some Pacific Islands. Bloody shame...

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Yes, I would rather send it to the US for the sake of rugby, but then again I would also have awarded 2011 to Japan.

However, I suspect that in IRB circles South Africa will do a USOC, and either request 2023 or not bid.

Remember that of all the 2015 and 2019 bidders only South Africa topped the guaranteed required (not suggesting other bids have no financial strength) and I think what made it worse was that they were actually asked to bid. The IRB then went ahead and recommended England which after a Southern Hemisphere win for 2011 was unopposed.

There are also "IPL" style tournaments being proposed for rugby and either rugby changes or is changed.

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I hope NZ 2011 is great but the spread of the capcity of the venues is way too small for such a large event.

I do hope NZ 2011 and Brazil 2014 go really well, and worst case scenario, there is a plan B country waiting.

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New Zealand will be fine next year.

The earliest the US or Canada will host the RWC is in the 30's. Italy, Argentina and South Africa will host before the game comes to NA.

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Sad to say I suspect you are right Rols...and therefore it is no surprise Rugby is still languishing far behind football as a world game and only has a tenuous hold in marginal markets. It may be more international than Rugby League or the North American footballs (Canadian/American gridiron), and of course has some fanatical and well funded support in certain countries. However Rugby will continue to lose out so long as the same tweed jacketed blues sit around at Twickenham drinking their Pimms and wallowing in memories of Johnny Wilkinson's kicking. The mentality that has seen Rugby slowly dying in Australia is contagious and the only hold outs are the Kiwis, the southern French, the Oxbridge English types, mostly white South Africans and some Pacific Islands. Bloody shame...

I'd hardly call Rugby languishing. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that Rugby has been the international sports success story of the past few decades and done a textbook case of how to grow a game's profile internationally while nurturing its strongholds and traditions. From a bit of an amateur and late start with their World Cup in 1987, the tournament has grown and flourished to the point that it's arguable the most sought-after event to host after the Olympics and FIFA's WC, while the 7s circuit has blazed a trail around the world on the foundations of a strong expat support base to become a lucrative annual series and now annointed, and highly anticipated, Olympic fixture. Meanwhile the northern unions have successfully expanded into a solid and viable Six Nations format, and the southerners are imminently poised to move beyond the Tri-Nations into the Four Nations era with the Pumas soon to join up. The Super 14s have given the southern unions an elite annual league that is more than holding its own against the SANZAR domestic competitor comps. In Oz, or at least NSW and Qld but also more and more in the infidel states, Rugby is still a major business and corporate-backed code and THE venue for business networking. These days it's Union that's doing more poaching the ranks of the Rugby League star talent, than vice-versa.

Yes, some of us (including myself) may have wished the IRB had been more adventurous to date in their choice of WC hosts, but they've done pretty in giving it a solid foundation and reputation on which to build in the future. And they ARE moving it forwards now, even if they do so cautiously. They did finally bite the bullet and vote for Japan, which I still think is the obvious and ideal location for them to look for expansion. I'm sure the North Americans are pencilled in for the same soon or later enough. Union's never gonna challenge as the dominant code in Oz against AFL or the NRL, in the UK against the Premier League or the US against the NFL, but it's positioned itself very healthily and appropriately as a credible and respectable second tier code with a higher-skewing elite demographic support base in so many countries. Long-term, it would probably be good to see the balance of power of the Celtic unions in WC host decisions watered down a bit, but that's not to say that it's not appropriate for the likes of the Kiwis, the Welsh and Yaarpies be given the opportunity able to celebrate and enjoy their rugby heritage as well. Like FIFA, it's all very well to see the likes of Japan/Korea, the USA and hopefully Oz be given the chance the host, but the likes of Brazil, Germany and England also deserve their moments of celebrating their national sport often as well.

Overall, I think the Old Farts of the IRB do a pretty job of balancing the demands of tradition and future growth.

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I'd hardly call Rugby languishing. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that Rugby has been the international sports success story of the past few decades and done a textbook case of how to grow a game's profile internationally while nurturing its strongholds and traditions. From a bit of an amateur and late start with their World Cup in 1987, the tournament has grown and flourished to the point that it's arguable the most sought-after event to host after the Olympics and FIFA's WC, while the 7s circuit has blazed a trail around the world on the foundations of a strong expat support base to become a lucrative annual series and now annointed, and highly anticipated, Olympic fixture. Meanwhile the northern unions have successfully expanded into a solid and viable Six Nations format, and the southerners are imminently poised to move beyond the Tri-Nations into the Four Nations era with the Pumas soon to join up. The Super 14s have given the southern unions an elite annual league that is more than holding its own against the SANZAR domestic competitor comps. In Oz, or at least NSW and Qld but also more and more in the infidel states, Rugby is still a major business and corporate-backed code and THE venue for business networking. These days it's Union that's doing more poaching the ranks of the Rugby League star talent, than vice-versa.

Yes, some of us (including myself) may have wished the IRB had been more adventurous to date in their choice of WC hosts, but they've done pretty in giving it a solid foundation and reputation on which to build in the future. And they ARE moving it forwards now, even if they do so cautiously. They did finally bite the bullet and vote for Japan, which I still think is the obvious and ideal location for them to look for expansion. I'm sure the North Americans are pencilled in for the same soon or later enough. Union's never gonna challenge as the dominant code in Oz against AFL or the NRL, in the UK against the Premier League or the US against the NFL, but it's positioned itself very healthily and appropriately as a credible and respectable second tier code with a higher-skewing elite demographic support base in so many countries. Long-term, it would probably be good to see the balance of power of the Celtic unions in WC host decisions watered down a bit, but that's not to say that it's not appropriate for the likes of the Kiwis, the Welsh and Yaarpies be given the opportunity able to celebrate and enjoy their rugby heritage as well. Like FIFA, it's all very well to see the likes of Japan/Korea, the USA and hopefully Oz be given the chance the host, but the likes of Brazil, Germany and England also deserve their moments of celebrating their national sport often as well.

Overall, I think the Old Farts of the IRB do a pretty job of balancing the demands of tradition and future growth.

:mellow: Good points Sir R.

I suppose the 2016 vote session will be tense. As mentioned, many believe that South Africa is rightfully due to host, but we are also left with Europe's turn again. 2023 will definitly leave someone dissapointed either which way the vote goes, however 2027 (...so far away) will most likely bring up a possible USA hosting - but only if the US Eagles really start to knock a few big name teams over once in a while soon! (they are also current Olympic Champs)

Yes Rugby is growing, mainly thanks to the highly successful sevens format, but it is still some twenty - thirty years away from really being a major first tier international event.

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Yes with England and Japan, financially, they're still growing, and the tournament keeps growing.

France was the best WC since 1995 for me and England will probably top France.

Probably logistically impossible but I would like all first 2023 matches in South Africa to take place outside the country e.g. 1 match in Kenya!

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Yes Rugby is growing, mainly thanks to the highly successful sevens format, but it is still some twenty - thirty years away from really being a major first tier international event.

Between the status of the World Cup, the entry of 7s to the Olympics and the status of the annual Hong Kong 7s (surely one of the most prestigious events of the international annual sporting calendar), and the phenomenal success of comps like the Super 14s (or 15s or whatever they are this year) I'd say there's a strong argument that Rugby well and truly has arrived as a major top tier sport (if it wasn't already). What more do they need to do?

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I think the general premise of the RWC going to the USA is an exciting one. Hopefully any RWC hosted by the US is thoroughly embraced.

Its a difficult call given other "frontier" countries (which have a longer, stronger history with the RWC) have yet to host. Japan, Italy, Argentina etc.

If Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France/England/UK continue to host in 20 year cycles like we currently have it's going to be a long time before we see anyone like the US host.

Surely any US event would be in partnership with Canada?

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I think the general premise of the RWC going to the USA is an exciting one. Hopefully any RWC hosted by the US is thoroughly embraced.

Its a difficult call given other "frontier" countries (which have a longer, stronger history with the RWC) have yet to host. Japan, Italy, Argentina etc.

If Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France/England/UK continue to host in 20 year cycles like we currently have it's going to be a long time before we see anyone like the US host.

Surely any US event would be in partnership with Canada?

Logistically it would be a nightmare. Rugby is popular in Canada in Southern Ontario and the Maritimes and in the US in New England and North Cal. It would be either one or the other and since Canada has the voting spot and the longer tradition the preference should be for Canada.

But money wins out.

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Logistically it would be a nightmare. Rugby is popular in Canada in Southern Ontario and the Maritimes and in the US in New England and North Cal. It would be either one or the other and since Canada has the voting spot and the longer tradition the preference should be for Canada.

But money wins out.

If the event (and bid) were marketed well, do you think there is a case for other locations across the US and Canada?

Obviously having southern Ontario close to the north-east area of the US is a major advantage.

Lets not forget Australia hosted the event with venues as far apart as Perth, Launceston (Tasmania) and Townsville (North Queensland).

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If the event (and bid) were marketed well, do you think there is a case for other locations across the US and Canada?

Obviously having southern Ontario close to the north-east area of the US is a major advantage.

Lets not forget Australia hosted the event with venues as far apart as Perth, Launceston (Tasmania) and Townsville (North Queensland).

Canada and the USA put together are bigger than Russia and both have 2 million square kilometers on Australia.

And if its Canada and the US, the Canadian cities are obvious (Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal), the only two obvious cities in the US are Boston and San Francisco.

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Rugby and America....Hmmmm....is it just me who is reminded of that Friends episode when the two are mentioed together?

Just you Rob lol

Rugby in the US would certainly enjoy some advantages insofar as potential patronage from ex-Yale 1st XV player (and US President) GW Bush, and with 81,000 registered rugby players and approx 26,000 high school students playing the game there is a strong potential basis for the game (not bad considering in Australia there is only 38,000 registered adult players). And west coast rugby at college level is strong with California consistently winning major titles in the national collegiate champs.

One question is, will the IRB be willing to continually stick such a huge impost on the rights to the RWC ($30 mill guarantee for RWC2011 for example) thus curtailing the interest of nascent markets in countries such as the US, Italy, Argentina?

As for my earlier comments on the health of the game I will concede that on the surface things are far more healthy financially and in the short term than back in the amateur days. And yes Rugby 7's ascension to Olympic status is going to help the cause. However when you consider the degradation of the capabilities of traditional or second and third tier countries to compete against the big five, plus the manner in which the grass roots of the game in countries like Australia is being sacrificed for the elite end of town then it is fair to say that Rugby's stature has not grown as its rivals have nor as it should do on the back of what is supposed to be the second largest international football competition.

When the likes of Wales or any of the Pacific Islands can again become major forces in the game (or in the latter instance such as Tonga or Samoa become feeder nations for the likes of the Wallabies or All Blacks) then Rugby will have restored much of its integral appeal. Throw in a more fluid and running game (not the stultifying kick fest that is northern hemisphere rugby) and greater opportunities for Canada, Romania, Russia, Fiji, Japan and the US to play more regularly against higher grade opposition then the sport can start to break out of the straight jacket it is in now now thanks to the big 5 dominance.

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