World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin visited the Empower Field in Denver, one of the proposed venues for the 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups ©Getty Images

An American bid to stage the Men's and Women's Rugby World Cups in succession has been tweaked following meetings with World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin, with the United States now targeting the 2031 men's and 2033 women's editions.

While the goal remains to host the men's competition in nine years' time, it had previously been suggested that the US would focus on the 2029 Women's World Cup.

USA Rugby said it had taken the decision to focus on 2031 and 2033 "with support of World Rugby".

The International Federation's chief executive Gilpin had met with officials from USA Rugby and the USA Rugby World Cup Bid Committee in Denver over the course of three days, in what was billed as "a series of productive workshops to progress the exclusive targeted dialogue" stage of the bid.

Budgeting, US Governmental support and the development of the sport in the country were among the topics covered.

The 75,000-capacity Empower Field in Denver, a candidate venue under the US bid, was among the locations used to stage the meetings.

World Rugby's new bidding process for hosting Rugby World Cups includes an evaluation of proposals by industry experts, who deliver a report to the World Rugby Council as opposed to a recommendation.

Gilpin claimed that this would enable World Rugby to enhance the global growth of the sport, and that the US represented a prime example of its value.

"USA is absolutely primed to host exceptional Rugby World Cups and the productive meetings this week have reinforced that belief," he said.

"The re-modelled hosting strategy allows us for the first time to target nations that are central to rugby’s global growth objectives and the USA is at the very heart of that objective.

World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin said the United States is
World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin said the United States is "primed to host exceptional Rugby World Cups" ©Getty Images

"If we want to be globally relevant and strong as a sport, we must look to the likes of the USA.

"We are excited by confirmation of USA’s candidature for a women’s event in 2033, which allows us to develop a long-term hosting and growth plan in partnership with USA Rugby and other stakeholders that will help the nation and North America realise its rugby potential in every sense, which is in turn great for everyone in the game."

USA Rugby had to file for bankruptcy in 2020, but the nation has long been viewed as a potential growth market for rugby union.

The USA Rugby Bid Committee chair Jim Brown argued that the meetings were "extraordinarily constructive", and explained the decision to push back the targeted timeframe for the back-to-back World Cups.

"Following a series of assessments and discussion with USA Rugby, we believe a hosting model of men’s and women’s events in 2031 and 2033 is better positioned for the US to set development goals and deliver on our promise of a catalyst for rugby growth in the United States," Brown said.

USA Rugby has committed to working with World Rugby on an 11-year growth strategy for the sport.

The national body's chief executive Ross Young added that the targeted dialogue had enabled the Bid Committee to work closely with World Rugby on a suitable proposal.

"An invaluable benefit to the targeted dialogue phase has been working together through this phase of strategic planning, where we are mutually confident in our timeline towards 2031 and 2033," he said.

A bipartisan Congressional resolution encouraging President Joe Biden and federal agencies to support the US bid was introduced earlier this month.

The United States has been viewed as a potential growth market for rugby union ©Getty Images
The United States has been viewed as a potential growth market for rugby union ©Getty Images

This also vows that Congress will "give full consideration to legislative proposals or other requests to assist preparations" for the Rugby World Cups.

The Bid Committee has said it is working "towards initial US Government guarantees in support of the hosting model."

Final hosting rights for four upcoming Rugby World Cups are set to be decided by the World Rugby Council in May.

England has been named as the preferred candidate for the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup, and Australia for the men's edition in 2027.

Given that it has entered exclusive targeted dialogue status, the US appears in pole position for its proposed 2031 and 2033 dates.

The country has had something of a resurgence in hosting major sporting events.

It is set to host the World Games in Birmingham and World Athletics Championships in Oregon later this year, and is one of the co-hosts for the men's 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Los Angeles is also due to stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028.

World Rugby's sevens discipline is on the programme for the Olympics, as it has been since Rio 2016.