World Rugby has announced Australia as the 'preferred candidate' to host Rugby World Cup 2027.

The announcement comes after a World Rugby Council meeting accepted a recommendation from the Rugby World Cup Limited Board to work exclusively with Australia on a hosting model for the event.

Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan said:

This is a huge step forward in our ambitions to host Rugby World Cup 2027 and for rebooting the game in Australia. Throughout this process, we’ve held the genuine belief the time was right to bring the Rugby World Cup back to our shores. 

The team at Rugby Australia have worked hard on this for a number of years and today’s announcement is great reward for those efforts.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and we’re now closer than ever before to making that dream a reality. Game On for Australia 2027!

The event is projected to attract more than two million attendees across the seven weeks of competition, including 200,000 international visitors, generating A$2.5 billion direct and indirect expenditure to the economy.

Rugby Australia confirmed they will now work in an exclusive partnership with World Rugby as they finalise a model for 2027, with the final World Rugby Council vote slated for May next year. 

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said:

We now have the opportunity over the coming months to work with our colleagues at World Rugby to develop the optimal model for delivering Rugby World Cup 2027 in a way which will help foster the continued growth of the game not only in Australia, but in our region and globally.

Federal minister for sport Richard Colbeck said Australia had an enviable reputation when it came to staging major international sporting events. He said:

The Rugby World Cup 2027 would be yet another opportunity to showcase our strength as an international host. It is an exciting and ambitious prospect that will boost Rugby across Australia as well as provide enormous economic benefits to our nation.