October 1, 2008 / 9:06 AM / 11 years ago

Rugby-Eight countries bid to host 2015 and 2019 World Cups

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - A record number of eight countries are bidding to host the 2015 World Cup, the International Rugby Board (IRB) said on Wednesday.

The eight nations confirming their intention to tender for the 2015 tournament were: Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.

Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Russia, Scotland, South Africa and Wales have also made bids for the 2019 event, following Tuesday’s deadline.

Jamaica’s unlikely bid was withdrawn.

“This strong response is unprecedented and truly reflects the global attraction of the rugby World Cup,” IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said in a statement.

“It also reflects the significant economic benefits that accompany the hosting of a tournament that has grown in stature and prominence as a global event.”

For the first time, the IRB will award two tournaments at the same time, giving the successful bidders more planning time. The decision will be announced in July 2009.

The 10 bidding Unions now have until May 8, 2009 to submit their detailed Tender responses to RWCL.

New Zealand, who hosted the first World Cup in 1987, will hold the next one in 2011 having controversially beaten off Japan in the vote in November 2005. (Editing by John O’Brien)

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