World Rugby has received an “expression of interest” from the United States to host the Rugby World Cup in 2027 or 2031, the global governing body’s chief executive Brett Gosper has revealed.
Should the US win an official bid to host the tournament – which is being staged in Japan for the first time this year – it appears likely that games will be staged in National Football League stadiums.
With France having been awarded the 2023 Rugby World Cup, World Rugby delegates are poised to have a double vote to decide who hosts the 2027 and 2031 tournaments in the coming years.
And Gosper indicated that a 2031 tournament in the US would give the country enough time to put on a successful event.
“What’s being considered next time is choosing two World Cups — like we did with England and Japan — so we can make a bolder decision and a traditional decision,” Gosper told the Mail on Sunday.
“If we do that, there are many territories we could look at. It’s a hard one to predict, but I think the sport should be considering the move to North America. It gives us interesting growth possibilities and individuals in the American system have expressed an interest,” Gosper said.
He added that the presence of Major League Rugby and more solid investors showing interest in the sport have boosted the US cause for the tournament.
“They’ve got a Major League now and there are some high net-worth individuals investing in sport over there. It would certainly accelerate some possibilities in that part of the world which would be good for everyone because the revenue would go back into the game.
“We’ve got 2027 and 2031 to decide. 2031 could give time for an American bid to be very credible and very strong,” Gosper said.
Mark Griffin, the USA Rugby commercial director, told SportBusiness that hosting a Rugby World Cup would be a “game changer” for the federation and the growth of the sport in the country.