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Rugby World Cup expansion plan revealed by chief executive

World Rugby are giving serious consideration to expanding the Rugby World Cup to 24 teams.

Chief executive Brett Gosper believes it is a question of “when rather than if” the tournament is enlarged as most areas of the game look towards methods of expansion and new monetisation.

“The RWC executive board regularly looks at the issue, regularly looks for new markets and growing the game. We are in an expansive mindset,” he said. “It’s when rather than if.”


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There are currently no plans to expand next year’s tournament in Japan, which gets underway on September 20 2019 and will be the first to be hosted in Asia, while it is also unlikely that France 2023 will expand beyond 20 teams either.

The more likely tournament to host the change will be 2027. However, should World Rugby consider France 2023 a possibility, the country does have the infrastructure and experience to host a 24-team tournament.


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