Australia's 2027 Rugby World Cup bid has headed to World Rugby in England as it looks to establish itself as the main contender for the showcase event.
Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan, CEO Andy Marinos and Executive Director of Australia's Bid Phil Kearns are amongst the contingency making the trip in order to bring the World Cup back to Australia for a record third time.
Having largely done business over Zoom, Kearns believes the trip was necessary to achieve 'meaningful conversations', coinciding with the Wallabies facing England at Twickenham on November 14 (Australian time).
“We’re hoping to come back (to Australia) with a good indication from World Rugby that Australia will be the host for the 2027 World Cup,” Kearns told media.
“That won’t be confirmed until May of next year but we’re hopeful of some really good discussions and go back with a positive mindset.
“You don’t get the full picture over Zoom….meaningful conversations only take place face-to-face so that’s why we here.”
The move would see Australia break the Northern Hemisphere's recent hold on the event, with the previous two tournaments held in England (2015) and Japan (2019).
With 2023 slated to be hosted in France, Kearns believes the move back down South would be ideal, especially in the current climate.
“We’re a safe pair of hands. We’ve hosted Olympics, Cricket and Rugby World Cups before, Commonwealth Games, millions of events before and we’ve got the stadia ready to go, some of that brand new around the country,” he believes.
“We think we are a great and safe pair of hands to get a good economic result but also a social result for World Rugby.
“The last three World Cups have also been in the Northern Hemisphere in England, Japan and France so it’s about time it came back south.”
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Strengthening the bid is the plethora of venues set to be presented to World Rugby as part of the bid document, with over 80 available to use in either training and game capacity.
The 2003 World Cup saw games taken across the country outside of traditionally Rugby cities such as Adelaide and Launceston, with the two-time World Cup winner eager to replicate that in 2027.
“Australian World Cup will look like a national event,” he reaffirmed.
“It won’t just be the main Rugby cities of Brisbane and Sydney. It’ll be in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and we have 83 training venues identified around the country that can be used from Northern Territory to Tasmania.
“It’ll be a true national event, not just for Rugby but for Australian Art, Music, Food and Wine.”