Rugby Australia, the governing body for rugby union in the country, has officially launched its bid to host the 2027 World Cup and projects the sport’s showpiece event will provide an economic boost of A$2.5 billion ($1.9 billion) for the nation.

The national federation and the bid committee unveiled the bid in Sydney today and RA chief executive Hamish McLennan believes the tournament is “due” to be staged in the southern hemisphere.

The bid team outlined how a Rugby World Cup in the country will attract over 200,000 international visitors and over two million attendees in total.

The committee is also forecasting a significant economic boost with the $2.5 billion figure representing a total financial output, both direct and indirect, for the event, which would feature 20 nations and 48 matches over seven weeks and be played at between eight and 10 venues.

McLennan said: “Hosting Rugby World Cup 2027 is a once-in-a generation opportunity for Australia, which would drive substantial economic outcomes for our country, while also providing a lasting legacy for rugby in this region.

“It would also allow us to support the Australian government’s ambitions around major events in what is shaping up to be a green and gold decade for the nation.”

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RA is presently in a dialogue phase with the sport’s international governing body World Rugby, and will move into a candidate phase from June, where it will send a detailed bid proposal.

An evaluation phase commences in February 2022, with World Rugby to select the hosts in May next year.

Australia is expected to face competition from the USA and Russia.

The country co-hosted the inaugural World Cup with New Zealand in 1987 and was sole host of the 2003 edition.

The 2019 World Cup was held in Japan, the first to be staged in Asia, while the 2023 tournament will be held in France after the European nation saw off competition from Ireland and South Africa.

It will be the third time in a row a northern hemisphere country has hosted the event, as it was staged in England in 2015.

McLennan believes the time is right for the event to return to the southern hemisphere and pointed to Australia’s success in staging competitions during the coronavirus pandemic over the past 12 months as a key factor.

He said “We know that the USA is there for 2027 and 2031. Russia’s put its hand up but I don’t know if they can handle it. There might be a Celtic bid as well in the next few weeks but we’re committed to putting the best bid forward.

“I think it’s due to come here. We’ve proven in a post-pandemic world we can manage these big events better than anyone.”

He added: “We’re not thinking about missing out. We’re dedicated to winning. We’re not being complacent, what you saw today was a highly professional, well-organised bid process. Most people at World Rugby think that we’re ahead of the curve but we’re not being complacent and we’re putting the right resources in place.

“Everyone knows that we’re serious so I think we stand a good chance if we play our cards right.”

Phil Kearns, the former Australian international and two-time World Cup winner, was appointed executive director of the country’s bid team last year and said hosting the 2027 edition would be “a transformational moment for the game in this country and the Pacific”.

A successful bid would add to the growing list of high-profile sporting events Australia will host over the next decade having already secured basketball’s Fiba Women’s World Cup and cricket’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2022, soccer’s Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2023, the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2025 and the 2027 Netball World Cup.

In addition, Brisbane in Queensland is set to be awarded the Olympic Games in 2032 as the International Olympic Committee’s preferred choice for the event.