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Thread: 2023 (expanded) Rugby World Cup for South Africa

  1. #1
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    2023 (expanded) Rugby World Cup for South Africa

    The Rugby World Cup should return to South Africa in 2023, and the tournament should be expanded to 24 teams.

    The other three candidates are Ireland, France and Italy. Were any of these successful, that would mean a third straight World Cup in the Northern Hemisphere, even though it is the Southern Hemisphere which overwhelmingly dominates.

    It would also entail a return to the Six Nations for the fifth time in just ten tournaments, which is a little ridiculous for a sport with over one hundred affiliated member nations and self-professed global pretentions.

    Should it go to Ireland, that would also mean, technically-speaking, that the United Kingdom were involved to some degree in hosting the event for the fifth time, given at least a few of the games would be staged north of the border.

    France, meanwhile, hosted the World Cup as recently as eight years ago, and was also a co-host in 1991 and 1999.

    That leaves Italy, to my mind the most attractive of the European bids, as it is a newcomer to the heavyweight ranks with a large number of registered players. However, World Rugby might want to go with a more established rugby playing nation for its 10th World Cup. Japan is already facing problems as it prepares to stage the 2019 event, with its new Olympic Stadium having now been removed from the venue list.

    As for South Africa, it has the biggest and best rugby-purpose stadia in the world - with the possible exception of England, which has just hosted the event for the second time. It has the second largest number of registered players (also behind England), and it is the second most successful rugby playing nation after New Zealand.

    By the time 2023 rolls around, an entire generation will have grown up since the last time the tournament was held in South Africa. This, even though the 1995 installment was one of the most successful and spectacular World Cups to date.

    So if New Zealand, Austrlalia and England can all host it twice, and France can be involved as either host or co-host on three occasions, why on earth shouldn't it return to South Africa in 2023? Why does World Rugby appear to have lost faith in the republic, having overlooked it for both 2011 and 2019?

    It's time to break the cycle. The World Cup can not continue to return to Western Europe on every second occasion. That is a myopic approach and anathema to the globalization cause.

    But it does need to return to the Southern Hemisphere in 2023 for what will be the first time in 12 years. Moreover, it needs to return to the African continent, one of the hotbeds of international rugby development in recent decades.

    This leads me to my final point in South Africa's favour. World Rugby officials have raised the possibility of an expanded tournament, and this is undoubtedly overdue. Again, with its vast array of rugby-purpose stadia, South Africa's credentials are unsurpassed as a potential host nation for a 24-team World Cup.

    The last - and only - increase in teams was from 16 to 20 in 1999. This appears to have been successful, judging by the improved performances of the fringe teams in New Zealand and England.

    In fact, no centuries have been recorded since 2003, while Japan's stunning victory over the Springboks this year suggests the days of foregone conclusions is World Cup rugby may be drawing to a close.

    That said, a lot of work needs to be done in the interim if the additional teams are going to be genuinely competitive. One of the biggest obstacles to the game's global development is the stratification of its international competitions.

    Not only are the elite championships closed-shop, but there is little interaction between the top teams and the emerging nations in between World Cups. How on earth are the up-and-comers supposed to be competitive in the big exam if they have been denied the lessons to prepare in between?

    New Zealand and Australia should be playing annual tests with the Pacific Islands and Japan, as should the Six Nations with their Eastern European neighbours. South Africa ought to engage Namibia in a 'Bledisloe Cup'-style annual trophy match, and Hong Kong and Korea should be playing in the Pacific Challenge tournament, alongside the Pacific Islands B teams and Argentina's 'Pampas,' with a possible view to future inclusion in the Pacific Nations Championship.

    In addition to this, would it not be a fairly straightforward exercise for Six Nations teams to stop in for tests against Namibia and Uruguay enroute to South Africa and Argentina, respectively - as well as the Pacific Islands while touring New Zealand or Australia?

    By the same token, how about the Southern Hemisphere teams playing Georgia, Romania or Russia on their Autumn tours to Europe? Argentina might even take on Spain or Portugal.

    If rugby is to more forward, it needs to expand its World Cup, and this can only be successful with a more integrated international rugby calendar.

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    Italy sounds like a great spot to have it.

    and i do like the idea of a match against the eastern bloc during the autumn tours. but i don't necessarily think that they should smash the minnows (namibia/urugay, etc) on a regular basis. Romania, georgia and russia would all learn something from playing Tier 1's, maybe not the minnows.

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    If France really wanted to make it interesting, they'd have a chat with Italy and Spain and put together an "Around the Med in seven weeks" bid...

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    on top of it going to the states & canada in the next 20 years as well & I would say that it'll go back to asia sometime not too long after japan too

    Looks like it's going to be hotly contested that's for sure

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    South Africa will win the bid.

    I can't see World Rugby going for an expansion market twice in a row, and Ireland and France are just making up the numbers.

    I do agree more needs to be done to get some of the smaller Rugby nations up to standard but it's obviously hard to to fit into an already crowded Rugby Calendar.

    Australia should revive the Australia A concep would be beneficial for some of the smaller nations to be playing a stronger opponent and also for those players thatmiss out on selection for the Wallabies.

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    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post

    SANZAAR should pay Australia to revive the Australia A concep as this would be beneficial to have some of the smaller nations to be playing a stronger opponent and also for those players that miss out on selection for the Wallabies.
    Fixed that for you mate!

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    Actually, I'd prefer:
    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    IRB should mandate that all top tier nations have an A team as it would be beneficial for some of the smaller nations to be playing a stronger opponent and also for those players that miss out on selection for the senior squad.

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Apologies in advance for being the voice of reason here -
    But who's going to pay for it?

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MI5_Dog View Post
    Fixed that for you mate!
    Why should SANZAAR fund it? It was the ARU that cancelled it citing a lack of funds. The ARU has their share of the TV rights deal.

    I agree with Sheik that World Rugby should mandate it but who's going to fund it like Jono said?

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    I agree with Sheik that World Rugby should mandate it but who's going to fund it like Jono said?
    The ARU are pretty good at wasting money in every other facet of their business, why not throw some at elite player development?

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    C'mon the

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    Use all that money they made off the Fijian's in Sydney on the weekend

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    The ARU are pretty good at wasting money in every other facet of their business, why not throw some at elite player development?
    But they would have to cancel the case of Pimms and new jackets with leather patches on the elbows.

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    so realistically when is the earliest we could next host another world cup?

    2019 - Japan
    2023 - SA
    2027 - Ireland, France or Italy
    2031 - Aus?

    so 2031 at the earliest but could be a lot later if USA get one or 2 of Ireland, France or Italy. So we are probably looking at hosting once every 30-40 years if we are lucky

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    America should host 2023.

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G_Beard View Post
    America should host 2023.
    They won't do that immediately after Japan - they'll do a low-risk one (i.e. in a traditional country) first.

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