Cheika backs Aussie bid for 2027 Rugby World Cup

TOKYO -- Rugby Australia has already signaled its intention to bid for the 2027 World Cup and the move certainly has the support of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

Australia last hosted rugby's showpiece in 2003 with the tournament regarded as a huge success as the Wallabies went all the way to the final AND people across the country embraced the colour and atmosphere that only a World Cup can provide.

Tim Gavin, the President of Rugby Australia, earlier this week told News Limited that the time had arrived for Australia to again host rugby's greatest event as the travelling support in Japan showed just how much Australians loved their rugby.

"We put on a fantastic Rugby World Cup in 2003 and there is no reason we can't do it again, bigger and better," Gavin said. "We have new stadiums coming on line and some fantastic rectangular grounds to watch rugby are already there.

"Only the English have more supporters in Japan than the 40,000-odd Aussies following the Wallabies at this World Cup and that just shows how popular the game is at the grassroots to back our own tournament."

While the formal bidding process is yet to open, World Rugby is likely to award both the 2027 and 2031 tournaments at the same juncture in 2021. That gives Australia, and other potential bidders which could yet include the United States, South Africa, Argentina and Russia, roughly two years to put together a compelling case to bring the World Cup to their backyard.

Certainly the success of the tournament in Japan could swing World Rugby administrators to look at another emerging market, particularly after France, an established rugby nation, hosts the tournament in 2023.

But having staged such a successful event in 2003, Australia, which will also have enjoyed a significant upgrade of its stadia by 2027, would also be an attractive option.

And Cheika, whose Wallabies face Georgia in Shizuoka on Friday in their final pool match, believes Australia would do a sensational job of hosting the tournament if given the chance in 2027.

"I think we'd kill and I say that in a positive way," Cheika replied when asked about the prospect. "If there's one [thing] we like to do at home and that's put on a good show; we've got so many sports fans there.

"It was 2003 wasn't it, the one in Australia? A great place for people, I feel like I'm working for the tourism board here, but it's a place you want to come for a holiday, too. The players won't be coming for a holiday but the spectators [would love it], and you've seen how many there are in all the stadiums.

"If I lived overseas and I was a foreigner, it would be the one place I'd want to go to watch a World Cup, that's for'd be big for the whole game if the World Cup was played in Australia, without a doubt."

Playing at his first World Cup, Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi said Japan was staging a wonderful tournament where every little detail had been considered to help make the players feel at home.

"I think I said it in an interview a couple of days ago, just the buzz and the feeling around the people itself as a nation; there's whispers that they've been learning other national anthems just to sing and be part of all different teams," Kerevi said Wednesday.

"Just to hear that, for a nation to buy into a Rugby World Cup is amazing and obviously you get that at different World Cups, but there's just something different about the Japanese; they're so welcoming, the detail around how we get to stadiums, little things from the change-rooms begin changed to each team; we walk into our change room and Australia [is] written there. And there's a couple of games every weekend and they'll be different; it's not like New Zealand will have our name up there.

"So there's little details, changing the whole stadium just to make us feel at home, I think it's a little minor detail but it's awesome. And they've really received every team really well, so I'm really enjoying it at the moment."