World Cup 2023 could feature more teams
NEWS: World Rugby are considering expanding the World Cup from 20 to 24 teams in 2023.
World Rugby’s Chief Executive, Brett Gosper, believes the growth of game depends on tapping into new markets and he is keen to see more Tier Two nations compete in rugby’s biggest event.
“We’re always looking from an expansive point of view, rather than reducing so it’s just a question of when rather than if,” said Gosper.
“We just want to make sure the teams are competitive enough to move to a 24-team tournament.
“In order to grow the sport it’s about getting interest from new fans and commercial interest in new markets but you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the teams.”
With the World Cup featuring 20 teams for the past two decades, Head of Rugby World Cup Alan Gilpin agrees with Gosper.
“We are definitely looking at expansion not contraction. We’d love to move to 24 teams,” he said.
One problem World Rugby faces with an expanded World Cup is that pools can become increasingly one-sided.
Next year’s World Cup in Japan could be a perfect example of this when the repechage winners will face New Zealand in Pool B. A massive win for the All Blacks could undermine World Rugby’s case for expansion.
“We are confident the team that qualifies will be competitive enough, even against the All Blacks,” said Gosper. “We’ll work hard with that team to make sure that team is well trained in advance.”
Source: The Guardian