The Rugby World Cup will increase from 20 to 24 groups – with an additional knock-out spherical added – starting in 2027 when Australia host the match, the World Rugby Council has confirmed.
However regardless of extra competing nations, the occasion can be shortened from seven weeks to 6, working from October 1 to November 13.
The groups can be cut up into six first spherical teams every containing 4 sides with a spherical of 16 added.
The finalists will play the identical variety of matches as this 12 months – seven, however groups knocked out within the group stage will play three video games as an alternative of 4.
Though this 12 months’s competitors featured various very one-sided group matches, growth was anticipated after the USA didn’t qualify for the present World Cup in France.
The Rugby World Cup is about to increase from 20 to 24 groups, starting in 2027 when Australia host the match (pictured, Wallabies coach Eddie Jones)
Portugal gained the hearts of rugby followers after pushing the Wallabies all the best way on the World Cup in France (pictured, in motion towards the Wallabies)
The US will stage the 2031 males’s World Cup and mechanically qualify as hosts, however World Rugby did not wish to danger the US additionally not qualifying for 2027 and going 12 years between World Cups.
Rugby Australia efficiently bid for 2027 rights on the idea of a 20-team match, however welcomed growth as ‘a implausible end result,’ organising committee head Rod Eddington mentioned.
The growth is amongst a number of adjustments introduced by the World Rugby Council (WRC) together with a brand new aligned worldwide calendar that includes a 24-nation, two-division international ‘Nations League’.
That can launch in 2026 with promotion and relegation from 2030.
It’s a main reform of a sport that’s struggling to supply significant alternatives to smaller unions, and comes at a time when the likes of Portugal and Fiji have proven the promise of tier two sides on the World Cup in France.
The Nations League format is but to be revealed, however will see a 12-team high division comprising sides from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship, and reportedly Japan and Fiji, assembly each two years within the July and November worldwide home windows.
The second division can be run by World Rugby which say the adjustments have been made to permit growing nations larger entry to play elite opposition. There was criticism that the preliminary ‘closed store’ nature of the Nations League will hinder this.
Nevertheless, World Rugby added that within the years when the Nations League was not performed there can be ‘a major uplift within the variety of cross-over matches between unions within the respective divisions’.
Fiji lately certified – at Australia’s expense – for the quarter-finals of the World Cup (pictured, in motion towards England)
‘Settlement on the boys’s and ladies’s international calendars and their content material is essentially the most important improvement within the sport because the sport went skilled,’ mentioned World Rugby chairman Sir Invoice Beaumont.
‘(It’s) a historic second for our sport that units us up collectively for achievement.
‘We now look ahead to an thrilling new period commencing in 2026. An period that can convey certainty and alternative for all.’
The launch of a brand new annual expanded Pacific Nations Cup competitors in 2024, that includes Canada, Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and the US, was additionally introduced.
There will even be a primary ever devoted worldwide launch window within the ladies’s sport from 2026, with a assessment of the worldwide calendar and competitors constructions promised sooner or later.