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Friday, December 2, 2011

Can the US Host the Rugby World Cup in 2023?

Can USA Rugby Pull This Bid Out of Their Ass?
We know already that England will host the Rugby World Cup in 2015
And Japan will get the Oval Ball Orgy in 2019...
Japan Jersey from the 1930's
The question now will be, who where will Rugby World Cup 2023 take place?

It was announced that USA Rugby has thrown in their hat into the ring to host the tournament in 2023. (The plan would be to co-host some games with Canada) Another developing rugby nation, Russia has also thrown it's hat into the ring, as well. The third country who would like to host the RWC is the hosts from 1995, South Africa.

I think even the most vocal Eagles fan would have to say that South Africa is the clear favorite. They have a history with this game that goes way back...
An endangered species...a South Africa Jersey with a Springbok on the Chest.
South Africa is a bona fide power in the rugby world. Thanks to the FIFA World Cup in 2010, they have plenty of stadiums that would be all set to host matches. It is true that Russia will have stadiums, too, since they are hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018, those stadiums built for that event will still have that new stadium-smell to them. Here in the US, we have no problems on the stadium front, either. I do think that the biggest road block to the Russian and American bids is the simple fact that the IRB will say that by letting Japan host in 2019, they have already thrown a bone to developing rugby nations, and that they will want to come back with the World Cup going to a traditional Rugby nation. By 2027(Shit, will I be old by then) I can see the IRB coming back to a developing rugby nation that also has economic clout. (Well, the US still might have some economic clout by then)

It's nice to see USA Rugby feeling confident enough to make such a bid, but  I think that in the end, rugby fans will probably need their Afrikaans, Zulu or Xhosa phrase books and guides to the beaches near Durban, because at this point in the game, I think it's South Africa's bid to lose.
A Bok fan waving the RSA flag in Auckland in September before RSA-Samoa

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