Would a Rugby World Cup work every two years?

September 15, 2021

FIFA put the cat among the pigeons in early September after telling the world that they were considering making the World Cup an event that is played every two years. The way things are at the moment, the World Cup happens every four years but football’s governing body is seriously considering a change to the age-old setup. Needless to say, it has riled the traditionalists and left those who can’t stomach change feeling a bit queasy.

There were further seismic shifts to come in the sporting world after World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin said that he thought that a World Cup every two years was an interesting concept. Now, as things stand, you will notice if you look at the latest rugby betting that the next World Cup is in 2023 which means that it is played every four years, after the last one took place in Japan in 2019.

Furthermore, anyone studying the latest Rugby Union betting tips for the tournament will see that it is scheduled to be played in France and that New Zealand are the favorites to win the competition. After that, however, no World Cup hosts have been confirmed for the tournaments that follow with the next one scheduled to take place in 2027.



Potential Australia 2027 could mark end of four-year waits

It should be said that, despite World Rugby giving a World Cup every two years flattering looks from across the room, it would be logistically impossible to make the change in time to affect the 2027 showpiece.

In fact, Australia looks set to host the competition after launching a bid in May 2020 to stage the event. Whilst the bids still have to be assessed, it does seem unlikely that Australia won’t be given the honor, having successfully hosted the competition in 2003.

But there is a growing worry that once the winning captain has lifted the Webb Ellis Cup down under and the lights go out at the stadium, teams may only have to wait 24 months before trying to get their hands on rugby’s greatest prize again.



There may, however, be little to worry about when you consider the potential scheduling conflict.

Crowded rugby schedules hard to avoid

In reality, the congested calendar in the men’s game means that a biennial World Cup couldn’t be squeezed into the current fixture list. Indeed, there will be many stakeholders who have thrown their weight behind various club competitions – especially in Europe – who will be laughing off the suggestion. In the United Kingdom alone there already is the Gallagher Premiership and Championship.

Added to that, across the English Channel and on the continent, you have the existing Heineken Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup. One then has to take into account the Southern Hemisphere blockbuster that is Super Rugby which begins in February every year.

Now, even if for some strange reason World Rugby managed to squeeze a World Cup in between those events, that wouldn’t be taking into account the international tournaments of the United Rugby Championship, Six Nations, British and Irish Lions tour, and the Rugby Championship that still need to be played.

With this in mind, you can’t really picture how World Rugby would go about effectively implementing a World Cup every two years without facing lengthy legal proceedings from the opposing parties.

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