Australia’s bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup advanced this week, with Russia and Qatar falling out of the race for the global showpiece.
They are up against the USA, who have bid for both 2027 and 2031 editions, but Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan believes Australia is the safe choice against the emerging market that is the USA.
The decision is to be made in May next year and McLennan was on full national marketing mode on Wednesday.
“We’re a known rugby nation, so we have got a rich heritage,” said McLennan, who stressed the importance of holding the event south of the equator for the first time since 2011.
“Tourists and fans love coming to Australia, so we know we’re a safe pair of hands, will do it professionally and be able to deliver the financial returns to World Rugby.
“The one thing I’d say is that in the US, rugby is a relatively immature sport. Objectively, they’ve got to build a team up.
“You saw the score for the US team against the All Blacks – I think they need time to invest in their team and build their stocks up.
“At some point it would be great to have it there, but you want it to be a success. You want to make sure they’ve got their pathway sorted out, you’ll have full stadiums and it works as an event.”
The USA are also bidding to host the 2031 World Cup and McLennan said: “That tournament could be perfect for them.
“We’re absolutely committed to this. We’re absolutely keen to put on the most professional event and do a great job for everyone involved in rugby.
“The support for the game is there in Australia, but what the World Cup would do is put it on steroids.
“It would give us five years to promote the game and also put a lot of government support and investment back into the game. It would take it to another level.
“We could survive without it, but it would be a tremendously fabulous thing if we did get it.”
London Irish lock Adam Coleman has received a three-match suspension after being sent off against Saracens in the Premiership on Saturday.
The second-row was red carded in the 22nd minute for a dangerous tackle on Sarries forward Jackson Wray.
Irish initially struggled without the lock on the field, going 34-8 down, but staged a remarkable comeback to secure a 34-34 draw.
Coleman, who has won 38 caps for Australia, accepted the charge.