Staging the Rugby World Cup every two years – instead of every four – has been raised in a top-level meeting between senior figures in the international game.
In an interview published in The Telegraph in London, World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin is quoted as saying a World Cup every two years is an ‘interesting concept’.
According to the report, reducing the time between World Cups has been raised in a meeting in Paris between Gilpin, World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont and France 2023 director general Claude Atcher.
This comes shortly after the soccer governing body, FIFA, also floated the idea of a biennial World Cup.
The Rugby World Cup has been played every four years since 1987, and currently 20 teams participate in the showpiece.
Gilpin was quoted as saying: ‘Biennial World Cups have been considered before and they’re definitely something that we will continue to consider. It’s an interesting concept, especially when you think about the global development of the women’s game, too.
‘But the men’s calendar is very congested and complex, with a lot of different stakeholders, and we have to make sure we engage with them all before we consider a World Cup every two years.’
Gilpin also indicated that the governing body was considering expanding the tournament to 24 teams.
The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be hosted by France where South Africa will be the defending champions, having triumphed at the 2019 event in Japan.