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Rugby's showpiece could come back, says IRB

Stuff.co.nz
Sunday, June 22, 2014

Update: 9:48AM Fears the Rugby World Cup will never again be staged in New Zealand because of an economic model based on soaring profits are unfounded, according to the IRB's top boss.

In fact, International Rugby Board CEO Brett Gosper has offered reassurances that the runaway success of the 2011 tournament all but ensures the event will return to this country in due course.

"There's no reason why it can't come back to New Zealand," Gosper said.

"Like everything, cycles have to be spread. New Zealand put on an amazing World Cup and demonstrated how well they can do it - they're more likely to get it now than they were before they got it last time.

"It's inspired other [smaller] nations like Ireland to step up now."

Gosper said the responsibility to make money remained the event's key driver, but he felt New Zealand had proven they could still run a profitable tournament and meet other objectives at the same time.

"We can't lift the foot economically on a World Cup, but to be fair New Zealand was very successful commercially [for the IRB].

"We've got to take the World Cup around the world. It's very important for development reasons, and New Zealand has proved you don't have to sacrifice too much commercial revenue to make it happen in these type of places."

Gosper said England was well on track to stage the most profitable RWC ever.

"All the early indicators are it's going to be record-breaking on most metrics we've got. We've had huge success in early ticket sales to the rugby community and hospitality, so there no reason it won't be a huge success."