Rugby World Cup bid from USA now 'likely' - World Rugby CEO

USA Rugby's Ryan Matyas training at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland -- Nov. 23, 2018. Matt Browne/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The CEO of World Rugby has reiterated his desire for the USA to launch a bid to host the Rugby World Cup.

Brett Gosper, who runs the sport's governing body, said a U.S. bid for the tournament in either 2027 or 2031 was now likely and would be "highly attractive".

Rugby is on the rise as a result of San Francisco hosting the 2018 Sevens World Cup and the U.S. Eagles victory over Scotland, their first over a top-tier nation, in 2018.

"Whether the U.S. is ready to put up a great bid in 2027 or whether it's 2031, eventually, we believe that the U.S. will put up a bid that will be highly attractive," Gosper told Business Insider. "I would be very surprised if the U.S. did not throw their hat in the ring."

"Why is [the U.S. hosting the RWC] attractive to World Rugby? Of course, it would generate very high values from that market in broadcast returns for us and that would be sustainable over time. World Rugby is quite heavily reliant on broadcast [revenues]."

Any bid would naturally benefit the U.S. national team in the same way it has for Japan, which hosts the tournament this year and has risen from 16 to 11 in the world rankings since it was awarded the World Cup in 2009.

France is the next nation to host the World Cup in 2023, meaning the tournament is likely to be outside of Europe four years later.

Although rugby has struggled to gain traction in a packed U.S. sports market -- the PRO Rugby league collapsed in 2016 after just one season amid financial problems -- Gosper says the sport's image is still strong.

He is hopeful Major League Rugby, the new domestic league, will help, but knows getting into a market saturated by the NFL and NBA among others will be a challenge.

"We hope [the MLR] is a success," he said. "We do think they are sensible people going about this in a meticulous way with serious ambitions."

""The prize [of conquering the U.S. market] is fantastic. It's also a very, very difficult market to break into because it's incredibly crowded and commercialised."