The wait is over
After a near year-long process of sitting in the box seat for the event, Australia has finally been confirmed as the host of the 2027 and 2029 Rugby World Cup.
The announcement was made late Thursday evening (AEST) after a vote by World Rugby Council in Dublin, cementing Australia as the first country to host the showpiece men’s Rugby event for a third time in 2027 (following the inaugural event in 1987 and in 2003), while also welcoming the women’s tournament for the first time in 2029.
“This is an incredible day for our Country and our game and in many ways, the start of a new era for Australian Rugby,” RA CEO Andy Marinos said in a statement.
“Through Rugby World Cup 2027 and 2029 we look forward to sharing this great game, showcasing our beautiful and diverse country and its people and importantly growing the sport in communities all over the country.
“We now have a golden decade of Rugby in front of us, with the British & Irish Lions series in 2025, Rugby World Cups in 2027 and 2029, 2032 Olympic Games and a host of international men’s and women’s teams due to visit Australia for XVs and 7s fixtures. Australia will become the centre of the Rugby world over the next decade and that is incredibly exciting.
“This is a chance to grow in every sense of the word, providing aspirational pathways and unprecedented investment and support for our players, from the grassroots to the elite, in our infrastructure and in our people.
“So to all of the boys and girls out there who dream of playing for their country, I hope that today provides you with an incredible level of excitement about what you can do in our great game of Rugby - playing for your country in some of the biggest sporting events in the world on home soil.”
The announcement is set to deliver a financial windfall across the country, particularly for the sport, with the dual events set to deliver $2.8b economic windfall and boost grassroots Rugby with 30,000+ participants
Wallabies prop Angus Bell, who will be in his prime for the '27 event, labelled it the 'pinnacle' as it creates a major incentive for players to stay in Australia.
“A World Cup is the pinnacle of rugby, and to represent your country at a World Cup is probably the best experience you can have in rugby,” Bell said.
“I definitely want to be in and around the Wallabies in 2027 and hopefully get the chance to represent my country then.”
This was shared by Wallaroos captain Shannon Parry, hopeful the 2029 event can create a similar legacy to Rio 2016 and the gold-medalist Sevens side.
"Absolutely, we saw off the back of 2016 (Olympics) it created a pathway and a bit of a legacy for young girls to inspire to," Parry believes.
"If you follow the 2019 World Cup into the Commonwealth Games and the 2032 Olympics at home, it's a massive pathway and trajectory to get girls involved in Rugby which is exciting.
"If you are a youngster, 15 or 16, come eight years time, you could be in that Wallaroos team so it's something really exciting and it's up to the current Wallaroos to be that pathway and role models these girls can look up there."
Brumbies coach and Wallabies assistant Dan McKellar was coming through the system when Australia hosted the 2003 World Cup and recognised how crucial it can be towards boosting all aspects of the sport.
"It's enormous," he said.
"People that were around and witnessed the 2003 World Cup [saw] the positivity it had on the game. There's obviously the financial benefits as well, not just to rugby but to any community that is fortunate enough to host a World Cup pool match, quarter-final, semi-final, or final.
"It's a huge boost for the game and I think it's going to come at a good time for rugby in this country."
RA Chairman Hamish McLennan praised the tireless work put into the bid for both events, calling it a 'once-in-a-generation' opportunity.
“This is a historic day for Rugby in Australia. We’re beyond thrilled to be welcoming not one, but two Rugby World Cups to our shores," he added.
“It’s a game-changer for Rugby in this country, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revitalise and secure the future of the sport here and see the game we all love grow and thrive for years to come.
“I’d like to thank our Federal and State and Territory Governments for the belief and support they’ve all shown in Rugby Australia’s bid over the last four years. This is a bid that has received unanimous bi-partisan support. The shared enthusiasm of our government partners for our vision to bring Rugby World Cup back to Australia has helped demonstrate that we are a safe pair of hands and ready to welcome the world.
“I would particularly like to acknowledge and sincerely thank our formidable Bid Advisory Board, chaired by Sir Rod Eddington AO FTSE, the Rugby Australia Board and CEO Andy Marinos, along with the Bid Team led by Wallaby great Phil Kearns AO and Anthony French, for their tireless work throughout this campaign.
“Today’s announcement is also the result of an incredible amount of hard work and cooperation from across the Rugby community over many years. It is a project that has been a constant source of inspiration for our code through some challenging times in recent years and we have worked in lockstep with our Member Unions throughout the bid campaign, united by our common goal of growing this great game of ours. Today is a significant moment in time for our game. I look forward to working together with our Member Union and Government Partners over the coming years to ensure that we make the most of this opportunity and continue the resurgence of Rugby in this country."