- Feb 1, 2010
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To be honest if rugby wants to benefit they should look to take the world cup to the USA or Russia etc.
2023 should be either Italy, Argentina or South Africa for me
No, it's just that I've been to Russia.
I see Argentina getting it in 2027 truth be told. I think the IRB are going to adopt a one on/one off approach regarding world cups and Europe (I'll include SOuth Africa in this for the purposes of time zones and the like). Financially it makes sense, with the majority of the audience being based in The British Isles and France. Not so good for development though. Here's how I see it panning out for the foreseeable future:
2023: South Africa
2031: One of the Home nations in collaboration with the others.
2039: Italy & France
That's how I see it panning out and there's a decent spread in there. While I agree that the game needs to be expanded, I'm not sure that moving the world cup around to places like the States and Russia is a good idea until they've established a firm footing in pro rugby. This is the game's premier competition and should be treated as such.
That certainly seems to be the consensus but I hope its not correct.
South Africa 2023 would hold back the expansion much more than giving 2011 to New Zealand. The reason is because so many potential hosts are now emergning and showing interest. Giving it to South Africa would discourage this significantly. 2023 has to go to Argentina or Italy with the other hosting 2027. No ifs or buts, this is the right thing to do. Both have sufficient rugby systems in place. Both have never hosted. Both teams are well supported and both are great tourist destinations. Time zones is an after thought but, nonetheless, it is a positive for both Argentina and Italy. Argentina actually offers the best timezone possible.
The real reason I doÂ´t want South Africa to host, aside from the fact that it already has, is the poor attendances that feature regularly aside from when South Africa is playing. The 2009 Lions tour featured poor attendances far too often.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_British_and_Irish_Lions_tour_to_South_Africa some decent South African crowds. There are plenty of reasons not to give it to South Africa if you want to expand the game but poor attendance isn't one of them.
I wouldn't use the Lions tour as accurate reflection of the attendance of SA rugby games, if I remember correctly the ticket prices for the games against provincial teams was double what the usual prices are, and the the top provincial teams were missing their international players.
However, I do agree that many 'fans' don't make the effort to go and watch the games live, even when they are more than wealthy enough to afford it.
Limerick, Belfast and Galway cities are just 2 hours from Dublin. Cork city is just 3 hours away. Only Limerick has a venue suitable for Ireland internationals and even then, it wasn't well supported against Canada or the Barbarians. It also has half the capacity of the Aviva Stadium and thus only brings in half the revenue. It would be foolish playing games against tier 1 countries there.
I'd say that an Irish hosted World Cup would be well spread.
The Aviva Stadium Dublin (50,000 capacity)
Croke Park Dublin (85,000 capacity)
RDS (plans to upgrade to a 24,000-26,000 capacity venue)
Ravenhill Belfast (plans to upgrade to an 18,000 capacity venue)
Musgrave Park Cork (plans to upgrade to a 15,000-18,000 capacity venue)
Thomond Park Limerick (26,000 capacity)
There would almost certainly be stadia in Galway, Athlone, possibly Derry and another in Belfast.
While the venues would be well spread, I doubt there would be anough of a sufficient capacity to host a World Cup so Ireland would need Scottish and Welsh help. There would need to be four stadia with a 40,000 capacity which Ireland can't provide on it's own. While I'd love to see 2023 hosted here, it won't do much for the growth of the sport internationally.