A London Associated Press report quotes International Rugby Board CEO Mike Miller as saying it's a matter of "when, not if" the Rugby World Cup will be played in the USA.
The USA and Russia are pushing hard to host the 7s World Cup in 2013, and the USA wants to host the JUnior World Trophy next year as well.
But the Rugby World Cup is a different kettle of fish, requiring a network of venues across the country. To do that, in September and October, at the height of football season, is a tall order.
A tall order also is to get voters to pick an unconventional location for the RWC. They did so for 2019 (Japan) only because, said Miller, people had two World Cups to vote on at once.
"If you only award one at a time, because all of our funding depends upon (the) Rugby World Cup, you're more likely to take the safe, conservative option," Miller told the AP. "If you do two together, you can take a longer-term view. You can say, '2015, that's England, that's a banker. Loads of money, that'll work — full stadia, great press coverage.' Japan should work and should spread rugby in Asia. Coupled with England? Great, let's do it. Japan versus England? Not quite so sure."
So could the USA or Russia be on the docket for 2023 or 2027? "We need to grow the game all over the world and Asia's a huge market," Miller said in the AP story. "Europe's a big market with 300 million, but then you look at India and China and you see 2.5 billion. There's no doubt [the USA] can hold it. There's no point having it if you then don't have the infrastructure in place to benefit from it. We would need to see what happens as a result of the exposure on NBC and the Olympics as Rio gets closer. It's too early to tell what will happen in the USA in the next three or four years. It will be crucial seeing 2016 and Rio if the U.S. qualify. There's no doubt the game is growing in the U.S., it's just a question of how fast it is growing."