Rugby Championship

World Rugby considers staging World Cup every 2 years, orange cards - report

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World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
  • World Rugby is reportedly considering hosting the World Cup every two years.
  • According to English publication The Telegraph, the idea of expanding to 24 teams has also been discussed.
  • Orange cards - an intermediary between the yellow and red cards - are also up for discussion.


World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin admits staging the World Cup every two years is an "interesting concept".

Gilpin expressed his views in an interview with The Telegraph and it comes shortly after soccer governing body FIFA recently also floated idea of a biennial World Cup.

According to the report, Gilpin, World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont and France 2023 director general Claude Atcher have met Paris and among the items on the agenda was reducing the time between World Cups.

The Rugby World Cup has been played every four years since 1987 and currently 20 teams participate in the showpiece.

"Biennial World Cups have been considered before and they're definitely something that we will continue to consider," Gilpin told the English publication. "It's an interesting concept, especially when you think about the global development of the women's game, too.

"But the men's calendar is very congested and complex, with a lot of different stakeholders, and we have to make sure we engage with them all before we consider a World Cup every two years."

Gilpin added that the governing body's top brass were considering expanding the tournament to 24 teams.

"If we decide that we're going to extend to 24 teams, which might be the ambition, then, actually, when you move to six pools of four, you don’t need any longer," he said.

Orange cards

The report added that law changes were discussed at the meeting, with Gilpin saying there is consideration being given to introducing an "orange card", which would act as an intermediary between the yellow and red cards.

As can be seen in the ongoing Rugby Championship, teams are trialling a new red card law which allows the offending player to be replaced after 20 minutes.

"There has been lots of discussion around orange cards, too - maybe a 20-minute card while keeping red and yellow," Gilpin said.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be hosted by France where South Africa will be the defending champions, having triumphed at the 2019 event in Japan.

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