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Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

17.49 14 Sep 2021


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The English RFU has announced plans to bid for the 2031 Rugby World Cup. 

In the process, a joint bid shared by the RFU, the IRFU, Scottish Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have been cast aside.

Earlier this year, World Rugby opened the bidding process for the 2027 and 2031 World Cups. Australia are the frontrunners to host the 2027 edition, with competition also coming from Russia.

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In February, and RFU statement claimed, "The four rugby unions of the UK and Ireland are considering the merits of a joint bid to host the [2031] Rugby World Cup.

"Collective discussions with government partners across the UK and Ireland have not yet taken place and a decision on whether to bid has not yet been made."

The IRFU countered by saying some preliminary discussions had taken place between the unions, but added, "the matter is not being progressed, at this point in time".

England last hosted the tournament in 2015, and in doing so amassed revenues of £230million (€270m). The Guardian say the RFU has held talks with the UK government about bringing the sport's showpiece back to the country.

It's believed talks over a combined bid stalled when it could not be decided who would host the final. When the four 'home' nations previously shared the tournament, finals were played at Twickenham (1991) and the Millennium Stadium (now Principality) in Cardiff.

“We would like to bid for that - the 2031 World Cup," RFU chair Tom Ilube is quoted as saying.

"That would be really exciting to have it here and you could imagine what it would be like and I think that really gives us a focus as well.

"So we will see what happens, it will be interesting. It is something that we are really interested in discussing and engaging with the process.”

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