The Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Gary Carr/INPHO

IRFU had 'preliminary' discussions about a joint bid to host the 2031 World Cup

An RFU spokesperson said a bid with Ireland, Scotland, and Wales was being considered.

Updated at 10.45am

THE ENGLISH RUGBY Football Union [RFU] said it is considering a joint bid to host the 2031 Rugby World Cup along with Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, but the IRFU has insisted that the matter is not being progressed at this point in time.

World Rugby yesterday announced the official opening of the bidding process for the 2027 and 2031 men’s World Cups, as well as the 2025 and 2029 women’s World Cups.

The game’s governing body stated that “multi-nation bids are being welcomed.”

The IRFU bid to host the 2023 World Cup in Ireland but suffered a bitter defeat to France in the official voting, with the Welsh and Scottish unions among those to vote against the expensive Irish campaign.

report in the Guardian quotes an RFU spokesperson as confirming that England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland are now considering joining forces in a bid for the 2031 World Cup.

“The four rugby unions of the UK and Ireland are considering the merits of a joint bid to host the [2031] Rugby World Cup,” read the statement from the RFU.

“Collective discussions with government partners across the UK and Ireland have not yet taken place and a decision on whether to bid has not yet been made.”

However, the IRFU has today stated that what were preliminary discussions are not being pushed forward at this time.

“The IRFU wish to clarify that while some preliminary, exploratory discussions took place last autumn with the English, Scottish, and Welsh Unions about a possible joint bid to host Rugby World Cup 2031, the matter is not being progressed at this point in time,” reads a brief statement from the Irish union.

Back in 1999, Wales hosted the World Cup but games were also played in Ireland, Scotland, England, and France.

Australia are the current favourites to win the hosting rights for the 2027 men’s World Cup, although Russia have also confirmed their intention to put together a strong bid for that tournament.

- This article was updated at 12.10pm to correct ’2013′ to ’2031′ in the second paragraph. 

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