Australia withdraws 2019 Cup bid

Australia has decided it cannot afford the asking price for it to bid to host the 2019 World Cup after pulling out of the 2015 process.

The International Rugby Board wanted a guarantee of £80m for 2015, increasing to £96m for 2019, from the host nations who also have to pay associated costs.

Australian Rugby Union boss John O’Neill said: (quote) It’s impossible for us to bid. We found we were incapable of meeting the terms and conditions. The economic model on the table could only be achieved by large economies. It’s a sensible decision and it wasn’t reached without a lot of analysis and deep thinking but it’s one we take with a heavy heart. The IRB has got this view that the value of the tournament to the economy in which it’s held is so massively valuable that governments should just foot the guarantee yet the host union could go broke. That’s the dichotomy that I’ve struggled with.(end quote) And O’Neill admitted that pulling out of the running for 2019 was not an easy decision to make.

England’s Rugby Football Union confirmed on Tuesday that it will bid to stage the 2015 World Cup with South Africa, Japan and Italy also in the running. Australia, who last hosted the tournament in 2003, pulled out of the running for 2015 because neighbours New Zealand are holding the 2011 tournament.