England keen to host 2031 Rugby World Cup with RFU talks already under way

England are planning to bid to host the 2031 World Cup Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)
17:00pm, Tue 14 Sep 2021
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England have set their sights on hosting the 2031 World Cup with discussions over putting together a bid already under way at the Rugby Football Union.

The official bidding process began in January and Twickenham is interested in bringing the global showpiece back to these shores for the first time since 2015 when they generated £228million in revenue.

France will stage the 2023 event with Australia regarded as leading contenders for 2027, leaving England to compete with the United States for 2031. The successful nations will be announced in May 2022.

Earlier this year the RFU revealed that the four home unions were considering a joint bid, but new chairman Tom Ilube has revealed the intent to now go it alone.

England last hosted the World Cup in 2015 when New Zealand and Australia clashed in the final with the All Blacks prevailing 34-17 (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)

“We would like to bid for the 2031 World Cup,” said Ilube, who arrived at Twickenham on August 1.

“It would be really exciting to have it here and you could imagine what it would be like. That really gives us a focus as well. We will see what happens, it will be interesting.

“It’s not happening yet, but it’s something that we’re really interested in discussing and engaging with the process.”

While the ambition is that the World Cup will return to England, Ilube also hopes there will be the playing resources to win it.

England are the most successful team at World Rugby Under-20 Championship level since the competition began in 2008, appearing in the final nine times and winning it on three occasions.

RFU chair Tom Ilube has revealed the ambition to big for the 2031 World Cup (PA) (PA Media)

That achievement has not transferred to the men’s stage, however, with the 2003 triumph the nation’s only World Cup victory despite additional appearances in the 2007 and 2019 finals.

“The people who will be in the England team in 2031, who are 12, 13, 14, 15-year-olds today – I really want to have a sense of what journey they are going on and whether we are going to produce a whole generation of world-class players,” Ilube said.

“I’m not certain that our system at the moment continuously generates those absolutely world-class players and if we are going to be at our rightful place, England should consistently be ranked one and two in the world.

“Year after year after year we should be there and to do that we need that cohort of absolutely world-class players. The system needs to generate them.”

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