With the upcoming Rugby events this year lingering in our thoughts, perhaps its a bit too optimistic to start thinking about a World Cup in 2015. Especially seeing as we still have to get through New Zealand's hosting of 2011.
Yet for the our Countries it is the time to put their cases forward for holding the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. But just for now lets consider 2015.
Perhaps the biggest candidates to have voiced their hopes for holding the 2015 World Cup are Australia.
Having help the World Cup in 2003, I really feel its up to someone else to hold the 2015 World Cup, and its rather selfish to put their names forward.
England and Wales combined have also put their names forward. As an English lad, I'd love to see a World Cup in my birth country. Still I really think England will have another chance to hold a World Cup.
And after all don't you think that it should go to a country less developed when it comes to the International Rugby stage.
Especially when the IRB's aim is to globalise the sport.
Well, when I say less developed I don't mean such World Cup minnows as Namibia, Uruguay and Russia. Due to the ridiculous hosting fee that the IRB are demanding.
But I mean teams hanging on the edge of competitiveness.
Japan believe they should hold it, seeing as they did lose out to New Zealand in a secret ballot.
I find it funny how the IRB say they will follow the same "competitive and transparent tender process". And the bid for the 2011 World cup wasn't that transparent was it?
Japan however have stated that if it were there turn this time around, that they wouldn't in fact make it a Japanese World cup, but an Asian one.
The fact that the IRB are asking for 100 million pounds for 2015, and 120 million pounds to hold 2019. Means that Japan are unlikely to commit further than 2015.
Great way to globalise the sport guys.
Well in fairness the reason the have upped the money so much is because they believe they will earn significantly less amount than the 2007 and 2003 raked in.
So why give 2011 to a country that they think won't bring in the crowds? And why won't a huge Rugby nation like New Zealand bring in the crowds?
Last years RWC generated a surplus of 120 million pounds and had an economic impact of 2.5 billion pounds in France.
So in 2015 I think the IRB are looking for a safer bet. Europe might be a good idea again then.
So seeing as france held 2007, and England and/or Wales isn't a good choice. Who will it be?
I personally would give it to Italy.
Italy are a nation growing in ability and a fan base. Still having to compete with Football as the number one sport they have seen an increase in attendances.
What used to be a side that you would think "Italy next that's an easy thrashing", they have improved to a level that their Forwards are a feared aggressive pack, and playing all around Europe at the highest levels.
Italy have competed in every RWC since its founding in 1987 but have yet to get past the group stages. A push in the right direction like holding a World Cup could really give them the final boost they need.
Perhaps their back-line is somewhat stale, and lacking in movement but with a coach like Nick Mallet they will become even better. As their recent historic win against Argentina proves.
The are also host to a various amount of fantastic stadiums, and the beauty of the Italian scenery can only add to the general ambiance that a RWC brings.
So even with secret ballots and IRB's really quite controversial decisions, I have complete faith in Italy and that they will get their chance. And hope that the IRB's decisions are more "transparent".
As for 2019, I think i'll leave that for atleast another year.