Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup hosts confirmed

The United States was confirmed as host of the men's showpiece event in 2031 and will stage the women's tournament two years later.

The hosts were finalised following a World Rugby Council meeting in Dublin.

"This is a historic day for rugby in Australia. We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming not one, but two World Cups to our shores," Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan said.

Tonga into Rugby World Cup playoff with win over Cook Islands

It was the Cook Islands who opened the scoring with a penalty through halfback Tokahirere Sopoaga to get a 3-0 lead.

The first quarter of the match was dominated by basic errors, and with the Kuki's line speed adding some pressure, it took 19 minutes before 'Ikale Tahi started to find some momentum.

Tonga's front row was crucial to their performance, creating opportunities to hold the ball in the scrum.

Dates for women's Rugby World Cup confirmed

The 12-team tournament which was due to be held this year in Auckland and Whangarei was postponed due to Covid-19.

The new dates mean the tournament will be extended from 35 to 43 days, meaning all teams will have a minimum of five rest days between matches in align with the approach recently approved for the men's competition.

The extension of the tournament window also allows for a revamped tournament format that will see all matches take place on Saturdays and Sundays with no overlap.

Rugby World Cup rest periods welcomed, timing questioned

The pool phase will be extended by a week, ensuring teams will have at least five days to prepare for all matches, while squad sizes will be increased from 31 to 33 players.

PRPW said that since 2003 the scheduling of Rugby World Cup matches has "brazenly prejudiced Tier 2 nations" and said the latest reforms are long overdue.

"This is a significant step towards a tournament that fully respects the ideals of fair play, and it will make a great difference to the Pacific Island teams," said former Manu Samoa international and PRPW CEO Dan Leo.

Preparation for Rugby World Cup in NZ pushed back several months for women's Six Nations sides

The Women’s Six Nations was due to start on February 6, the same weekend as the men’s tournament, but coronavirus lockdowns across the UK and Europe have prevented it from going ahead as planned.

England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy’s preparation for the Rugby World Cup, being hosted by New Zealand in September, will again be delayed, following three fixtures in the 2020 cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Australia's 2027 Rugby World Cup bid gets multi-million dollar boost

The government gave A$1 million in initial funding to the bid last year.

Hosting the tournament is projected to deliver A$2 billion in direct and indirect expenditure, bring in more than 200,000 international visitors for the six-week duration and create 12,000 jobs, Rugby Australia said in a statement.

“I want to thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Australian Government for supporting Australia’s bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup,” Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan said in the statement.

Flying Fijians coaching team confirmed

Former New South Wales Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson, current Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan and former test referee Glen Jackson have signed on to help their Kiwi compatriot, while breakdown specialist Richie Gray previously worked with Cotter during his time in charge of Scotland and Montpellier.

2023 RWC qualification process finalised

Twelve teams -- South Africa, England, New Zealand, Wales, Japan, France, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina and Fiji -- have already qualified by virtue of their top three finishes in their respective pools at last year's World Cup.

Seven of the eight remaining spots will be finalised via regional and cross-regional qualifiers, while a four-team round-robin tournament will determine the final qualifier.

Unofficial Rugby World Cup proposed for 2021

The Telegraph says the proposed tournament would be a 16 team competition and be held in June and July next year.

The plan has been submitted World Rugby with a working title of the 'Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby'.

The plan has been drawn up by Francis Baron, the former head of the England RFU.

The Telegraph reports it would involve 31 matches over six weeks and would mean the postponement of the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

Baron said all of the profits would be distributed to the unions to support professional and community games.

Concussion rates down at Rugby World Cup

The tournament in Japan was the first World Cup to introduce World Rugby's "high tackle framework" - the step-process of decisions referees must consider when analysing a potentially dangerous tackle - which is designed to reduce the risk of head injuries by "changing player behaviour from high-risk upright to lower risk bent-at-the-waist tackles".

In a statement World Rugby said there was a 28% reduction in the overall incidence of concussion and a 37% drop in tackle concussions at the tournament compared with the average figures from elite events two years ago.