Australia could step up for 2019 Rugby World Cup if Japan loses rights

Australia catches the ball in front of Japan during the match three of the Rugby World Cup 2007. Photo: Jamie McDonald/ Getty.

Australia is readying itself for a last-minute bid for the Rugby World Cup as Japan’s hosting rights are in jeopardy after the government removed the new National Stadium from its venues list.

While ARU CEO Bill Pulver says he hopes Japan’s bid doesn’t fall over, Australia desperately wants another World Cup.

“Tactically, we would have to establish whether it made sense for us if it was opened up to go in,” he said adding that South Africa are also desperate to host.

Pulver believes under the current World Cup pathway, Australia’s earliest opportunity to host would be in 2031 considering Japan, South Africa and Europe are likely to host before it comes back Down Under.

“If Japan was to fall over, maybe (that) could bring it forward a little,” he said.

“If South ­Africa weren’t interested, I think we would have a real crack at it.”

Australia has been drawn in Pool A, or the “pool of death”, with England and Wales — it is thought to be the toughest group at the Cup.

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