The Australian rugby community is currently filled with debates, and there is another topic that is expected to gain momentum over the next three years. Rugby Australia is facing several questions after the national team’s early exit from the World Cup last month, and it needs to address these issues in order to prepare for the upcoming home tournament in four years. As preparations begin, the question of which venue/city will have the honor of hosting the tournament’s final is also being considered.
While the final venue has not been confirmed, Rugby Australia requires a minimum 60,000 capacity stadium for World Rugby’s biggest match. This requirement leaves only three potential venues, including Optus Stadium in Perth, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), and Accor Stadium in Sydney. Perth is being considered due to its favorable time zone for European audiences, but it seems that the final decision will come down to either Melbourne or Sydney.
Sydney may seem like a clear choice for rugby union fans, as it hosted the final in 2003 and has the largest rectangular stadium in Australia, specifically designed for rugby. Additionally, the state has the largest share of registered rugby union players, making it the natural choice for hosting the final. It is highly likely that the final will be held in Sydney, as it is included in Rugby Australia’s shortlist of venues.
On the other hand, Melbourne also presents a strong case for hosting the final. The Melbourne Cricket Ground offers a much larger capacity compared to Accor Stadium, potentially accommodating over 95,000 spectators. Furthermore, the relationship between the Victorian Government and Rugby Australia is solid, with significant investments and support for rugby in the state. Hosting the final in Melbourne could help grow the game and drive participation rates in the sport beyond the tournament period.
In conclusion, the decision on the final venue will depend on various factors, including capacity, economic considerations, and the potential to expand the reach of rugby union in Australia. While Sydney may be a traditional choice, hosting the final in Melbourne could bring significant benefits and leave a lasting impact on the sport. Ultimately, the final decision will play a crucial role in shaping the future of Australian rugby.