Andrew Mehrtens backing Australia for 2027 Rugby World Cup
16 May, 2021, 2:15 pm
Former All Blacks star Andrew Mehrtens says Australia should host the 2027 Rugby World Cup but New Zealand involvement is not a foregone conclusion.
Mehrtens says that having New Zealand stage All Black pool games – which could be the expectation of many Kiwi fans – could cost the Australian organisers “millions’’.
Mehrtens wrote in his Sydney Morning Herald column on Saturday that he thought New Zealand would be “expecting to be given some matches but, realistically, that would be nothing more than an act of goodwill because financially Australia would lose out significantly. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars.
Financial viability is everything for events of this scale (or any scale), so Mehrtens says New Zealanders cannot simply just expect to host games.
The Crusaders legend – now resident in Sydney – would urge All Blacks fans to cross the Tasman for the entire tournament if Australia holds all the games.
“If the entire tournament is hosted in Australia then it’s still easier access for us than northern hemisphere tournaments. So if we do manage to get some games we should also be grateful to Australia and understand that it is charitable on their part.
“Kiwis, if you’re prepared to go to France for the 2023 tournament, you can make your way to Australia. Three weeks in France will cost about the same as attending the whole tournament here, and throw in a Pacific island holiday on the way home.
“Do yourself a favour, get across the ditch, get some sun and enjoy the tournament.’’
Mehrtens stressed he was not saying New Zealand should not host any games, rather his comments were coming from an objective viewpoint.
Australia are bidding for the right to stage the tournament for the first time since hosting the 2003 event.
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan told Sky TV’s Breakdown programme last year that he was open to New Zealand hosting some pool games.