Rugbu Union

USA enter the race to spoil Australia’s Rugby World Cup party

“Putting our hand up to host a Rugby World Cup is a benchmark for the game in America.”

What could hurt USA for a shot at 2027 hosting rights is the national team’s performances. The Eagles have won three of 25 Rugby World Cup matches since 1987 and lost every fixture at the 2019 tournament.

Ben Youngs of England holds off Hanco Germishuys of USA during a 2019 Rugby World Cup match. Credit:Getty

An extra four years of development could be viewed as beneficial but the USA may well push hard for 2027 given England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are considering a joint bid for 2031.

RA chairman Hamish McLennan was quick to talk down a potential American bid last month.

“I think their Achilles heel is they don’t really have a viable team and [a Union] that has just come out of bankruptcy,” McLennan said. “There is no point hosting if you can’t field a proper national team.”

Executive chair of the US bid, Jim Brown, who was managing director of a successful 2026 FIFA World Cup bid, outlined to the Guardian what stadiums could be used.

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“We first reached out to key stakeholders, cities and stadiums and groups like NFL and Major League Soccer and others who will be impacted by this,” Brown said. “And our first way was just to see how interest levels were with those key stakeholders.

“And we got a resounding positive reaction. We’re at around 30 host cities that are interested and a little over 30 major stadiums that are interested … and these are the big stadiums: MetLife, New York [home to the Giants and Jets, capacity 82,500], every major stadium from an NFL standard.”

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