From Paul Morgan, editor of Rugby World Magazine
Today’s decision by Rugby World Cup Ltd to recommend that England host the 2015 World Cup and Japan the 2019, was in my view exactly the right decision for the game.
I’m not interested in the tournaments going from one hemisphere to another or that England had games in 1999 – what I want is what is best for the global game. I’m also not interested in decisions being made in smoke-filled rooms, by people out of touch with the game. Bias against one country or future back-scratching must be left behind with the dinosaurs.
In deciding where to host the next two tournaments three key factors had to be considered:
1.One of them tournaments needed to make a lot of money to fund the global game over the next decade
2.One of them needed to push rugby union into a new market, to grow the global game
3.The 2011 World Cup in New Zealand satisfies neither 1 nor 2 so it was crucial we got it right!
And on balance Rugby World Cup Limited have got it spot on.
The game is now too big for emotional decisions or the old fashioned “anyone by England” mentality, which could only damage the sport.
England will do a great job in 2015, and the use of football stadiums opens up a new revenue stream, that can help the global game. I would prefer the tournament was held in one country, but it would be madness to ignore the Millennium Stadium, a few miles over the border in Wales! But England must take responsibility for the tournament and treat the Millennium Stadium like one of their own grounds in terms of ticket sales etc.
Don’t forget the IRB have made huge strides in the last 5-6 years. They were rightly criticised by me for failing the developing nations in the 1990s. But recently we have a seen a strategic plan with the development of a raft of new tournaments like the North America 4, Women’s World Cup, Sevens World Cup, Pacific Nations Cup, IRB Nations Cup, which are funded from the IRB from the money they make from the World Cup.
Good Luck to Japan for 2019 as well. They are under pressure to deliver an unforgettable tournament in eight years time, and from what I have heard and seen they are capable of it, although they will need a lot of help.
But do you agree? Let’s have your views…