World Rugby Confirm The Rugby World Cup Is Set For A Big Change
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The Rugby World Cup looks set to be expanded to a 24 team tournament in time for the 2023 showpiece in France. World Rugby have confirmed plans for an additional four teams following next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
20 teams have competed in the tournament since the 1999 showpiece in Wales, with 20 set to compete once again in Japan next year. But World Rugby boss Brett Gosper has revealed it is highly likely that Japan is the last time we will see the competition in its current format.
“We’re aways looking from an expansive point of view rather than reducing, so it’s just a question of when rather than if,” Gosper told British media.
“We want to make sure the teams are competitive enough to move to a 24-team tournament. We have assumed 20 for 2023 but we could change that between now and 2023.
“The tendency for us is to try and look to expand. It’s about growing the global game — getting interest from fans and commercial interest in new markets.
“But you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the teams. We’re definitely in an expansive mindset, is how I’d put it.”
19 of the 20 teams for next year’s global showpiece have already booked their places, with the final country to be decided at a repechage tournament in Marseille in November.