(ATR) International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates adds another project to his portfolio.
Coates has joined the effort to bring the Rugby World Cup back to Australia for the first time since 2003. The Australian reports he has beenappointed to the 2027 Rugby World Cup bid advisory committee.
Australia is the only current candidate bidding for the tournament after Argentina pulled out of the running in April.
But Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan is taking no chances as Coates and Wallaby great Gary Ella are the newest members of a nine-person committee that includes former Australian prime minister John Howard, former Australia governor-general Peter Cosgrove and World Cup-winning captain John Eales.
"John Coates is Australia’s top sporting official globally and a legend and he knows how to get bids done," McLennan toldThe Australian.
Coates, who played a key role in the successful Sydney 2000 bid, is already part of the regional Brisbane bid for the 2032 Olympics.
IOC President Thomas Bach signed off on Coates adding another job to his workload just a few days after the Sydney native, who also chairs the Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, was elected IOC vice-president on July 17.
Coates told The Australian his strong Olympic ties could help his country land the Rugby World Cup in 2027.
"It is an Olympic sport and there’s many IOC members who come from a rugby background and when we are back travelling again, I don’t think it is going to hurt to gently talk the talk. I guess I can contribute when it comes to the candidature, how best to prosecute it and those sorts of things," Coates said.
Australia’s chances of winning the bid are helped by the fact that the southern hemisphere has not hosted the sport’s showpiece event since New Zealand did it in 2011. England hosted in 2015, Japan in 2019 and France will do the honors in 2023.
World Rugby announced in November 2019 that it would award both the 2027 and 2031 tournaments simultaneously in 2021. Given the Covid-19 pandemic, that timeline may have to be altered.
The United States is believed by many to be the favorite for 2031. A 2027 bid would seem less appealing, given that the USA is already co-hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup and Los Angeles is hosting the 2028 Olympics.
Written by Gerard Farek
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