Rugby: Australia poised to host 2027 Rugby World Cup, United States in line for 2031

Australia is set to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup and England the 2025 women's tournament,  with both countries listed as "preferred candidates" in a new approach by World Rugby.

The World Rugby Council has approved revisions to the World Cup host selection process, including a 'preferred candidate' phase that the body hopes will help maximise the growth of the sport worldwide.

An "exclusive targeted dialogue" will continue with the United States over hosting the men's World Cup in 2031 and also a future women's edition.

Final hosting rights will be awarded by the council in May 2022.

"The new approach to electing Rugby World Cup hosts is more flexible and collaborative, with World Rugby working with potential hosts to optimise... proposals, and align them with long-term social and economic development plans for the benefit of their communities and the future expansion of the sport," says World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

Discussions are progressing with candidates for the women's 2029 tournament.

"We are delighted to have been awarded preferred candidate status for Rugby World Cup 2025," says England's Rugby Football Union chief Bill Sweeney.

"Hosting it will be incredible, our ambition is to stage the best-attended women's RWC ever, with nationwide qualifiers and a sellout final at Twickenham Stadium."

The next women's Rugby World Cup was postponed until next year in New Zealand, due to COVID-19. The next men's tournament is scheduled for France in 2023.