Rugby World Cup hosts

Rugby World Cup hosts

The host nation for the Rugby World Cup is decided by the International Rugby Board (IRB) at a special meeting six years in advance of the tournament. The choice of host nation is a highly anticipated event.

To date the Rugby World Cup has been (or will be) hosted by three southern hemisphere countries (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and three northern hemisphere countries (England, France-2007 and Wales). It was thought that this trend would be broken in 2011, with Japan making a bid for the tournament, New Zealand however were awarded the World Cup. The original idea of hosting a Rugby World Cup was brought up by Australia when they floated the idea of hosting such an event for the centenary celebrations of rugby union in Australia.

Host nations

1987: Australia and New Zealand

The first Rugby World Cup was hosted by Australia and New Zealand after the Australian Rugby Union and the New Zealand Rugby Union each independently wrote to the International Rugby Board seeking to conduct a World Cup tournament. The final was played in Auckland, New Zealand at Eden Park and won by New Zealand.

1991: England/Wales/Scotland/Ireland/France

The 1991 Rugby World Cup final was played in England, pool and finals games were played all over European nations. Pool A games, which England was in, saw games played mostly in London, though games were taken to Leicester, Gloucester and Otley. Pool B games, which involved European nations, Scotland and Ireland, had all their games in either Dublin or Edinburgh with one game being played in Ulster. Pool C, which Wales was a part of, had all their games in Cardiff, with two taken to Pontypridd and one played in Llanelli. Pool D, which France were a part of, saw games played in Agen, Bayonne, Béziers and Grenoble. None of the quarter-finals or semi-finals were played in England. The final was played at the Rugby Football Union's Twickenham.

1995: South Africa

The 1995 World Cup was hosted and won by South Africa. The IRB broke new ground by awarding the tournament to an African nation, making it the first major sporting event ever held on the continent. This was also the first World Cup to be played entirely in one country.

The tournament will probably be most remembered for two moments—the emergence of Jonah Lomu as a rugby superstar, and the trophy presentation. In one of the most emotional moments in sports history, President Nelson Mandela wore a Springbok jersey and matching baseball cap when presenting the trophy to the team's Afrikaner captain Francois Pienaar. Mandela's jersey had Pienaar's number 6 on the back. The presentation was widely seen as a sign of reconciliation between South Africa's black and white communities.

1999: Wales

The 1999 World Cup was hosted by Wales with some games spread across Scotland, England, Ireland and France. The pool games took shape similar to that of the format of the 1991 World Cup in England. All Pool A games were held in Scotland, Pool B games in England, Pool C games in France and Pool D games were all held in Wales. Second round play-offs and the quarter-finals were held a variety of European venues, the semi-finals were held at Twickenham Stadium, London. The third/fourth place play-off and the final were held at the new Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

2003: Australia

The 2003 Cup was intended to be held jointly by Australia and New Zealand, but disagreements between the International Rugby Board and the NZ Union, over sponsorship, advertising and ticketing, saw the competition relocated to Australia. Interestingly this was the first tournament to be won by a team from the northern hemisphere. The 2003 World Cup saw matches played in eleven stadia in ten Australian cities.

2007: France

The 2007 competition was held in France, with some games played in Wales and Scotland. There is a substantial increase in the overall capacity of stadiums compared to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, as the smallest venue at the 2007 tournament will be 33,900. France won the right to host the event in 2003. Three matches will be played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, two Pool B games that feature Wales and as well as a quarter-final. Two Pool C matches are being held at Edinburgh's Murrayfield. Though there was some speculation as to whether Scotland would be hosting any matches. Ireland were also offered to host matches at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, but had to decline the offer as construction work was scheduled to begin on the stadium. cite web | | title=Scotland looks to give up World cup matches at Murrayfield|url=| accessdate=7 May | accessyear=2006]

2011: New Zealand

The 2011 World Cup will be held in New Zealand. Along with New Zealand the only other countries to bid for the tournament were Japan and South Africa. New Zealand won the vote 13 to 8. Japan was a favourite to win the vote for the 2011 World Cup, as it was believed there was a desire to take the Rugby World Cup to a non-traditional rugby nation, and it would have been the first time Asia would have hosted the event. Despite not winning the right to host the 2011 World Cup, Japan Rugby officials remained optimistic about future reservations. There was also a bid from South Africa - who had previously hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

In mid November 2005, the IRB council announced that the 2011 Rugby World Cup had been awarded to New Zealand. It was the first time that a host nation(s) had been awarded to a nation six years in advance. The voting procedure was managed by a team of independent auditors.cite web | | title=New Zealand to host RWC 2011 |url=| accessdate=7 May | accessyear=2006]


The host for the 2015 tournament has yet to be decided. Bids have been received from Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.


The host for the 2019 tournament has yet to be decided. Bids have been received from Australia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Russia, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.


External links

* [ New Zealand to host RWC 2011]
* [ Joint Rugby World Cup bid office set up]
* [ NZ Wins Bid To Host 2011 Rugby World Cup]
* [ Japan Rugby news on bid]

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