World Rugby has produced a report which shows that hosting a Rugby World Cup can generate up to £2.9 billion in total economic impact, while direct visitor expenditure into the host economy can reach £1.1 billion.

The report has been published based on independent analysis of previous event hosting and is designed to inform potential future hosts of rugby’s showcase event.

The analysis also confirms the value of hosting the women’s event as an impactful and cost-effective proposition to engage women, grow interest and participation in women’s sport and champion gender equality and societal diversity.

While the formal host selection process does not open until February 2021, strong initial hosting interest has been publicly expressed for the men’s editions in 2027 and 2031 and the women’s editions in 2025 and 2029.

New Host

The success of bringing the tournament to Japan in 2019 makes it more likely that there will be a return to a new host again in the near future.  The United States and Russia have both already expressed their intention to bid, as has Australia.

Ireland hosted the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 and was an underbidder for the Men’s version in 2023.  It is not being talked of as a contender for the upcoming rounds of selection meaning that it will remain for at least another 15 years as the only major Rugby nation not to host the biggest event in the sport.

The reports have been produced by MI Associates.  They are being made available to any interested nations to help inform key strategic decisions to develop potential bids, targeting imperatives that will ensure a strong return on investment.

For the first time, standardised assessment methodology has been used to provide a holistic comparison of previous tournaments and project the likely economic impact in potential host regions based on location and trends.

These include:

  • Total international visitation and resulting economic impact
  • Total global broadcast audiences and social media engagement delivering exposure of the host country and cities to key international markets, driving future tourism to the host markets
  • The impact on sport and rugby participation and the likely resulting health benefits
  • The likely local support from the community for a potential bid
  • Potential trade and diplomatic impacts
  • Volunteering and the impact of this on local communities

“Rugby World Cup hosting is all about partnership and value, and our mission is to ensure that our iconic men’s and women’s events are an attractive, impactful and beneficial proposition for prospective hosts, much more than a sporting tournament, through a unified, holistic and flexible approach to building hosting models,” said World Rugby Chair Bill Beaumont

“These reports articulate the true value of Rugby World Cup to potential host nations by identifying the broader holistic benefits ranging from the socio-economic benefits, including helping to get a nation active, generating significant global digital and broadcast exposure, creating trade and diplomatic impacts, and, of course, tourism and additive spend by incoming visitors.”

“The major findings of the reports reaffirm Rugby World Cup’s status as a low-investment, high return on investment proposition for hosts, delivering multiple social, sporting, reputational and economic benefits.”


Sport for Business Partners