Rugby draws big guns to help World Cup bid

John Howard, Sir Rod Eddington, Sir Peter Cosgrove, Elizabeth Gaines and John Eales are on Rugby Australia's new advisory board for its 2027 World Cup bid.

JOHN EALES
JOHN EALES Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Rugby Australia's new chairman Hamish McLennan has unveiled a formidable advisory board to oversee the bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

Chaired by high-profile businessman Sir Rod Eddington, the advisory board includes former Prime Minister John Howard, ex-Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, World Cup-winning Wallabies captain John Eales, Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines, Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth and McLennan, who chairs several ASX-listed companies.

McLennan has spent the weeks leading up to his opening board meeting as chairman assembling the group that will guide RA's bid to secure the world's third largest sporting event for Australia - for the first time since 2003.

If successful, it would have a major impact in the effort to turn around the code's waning fortunes in Australia.

"The 2027 Rugby World Cup is an incredible opportunity for rugby and for our country and we have signalled our intentions clearly by bringing together some of the greatest minds in rugby, politics, business, and the tourism sector to deliver a winning bid for Australia," McLenann said.

Eddington said the group was motivated by a goal that could reap rich rewards for the country as well as rugby.

"These are some of the finest leaders in their fields that Australia has ever produced, and now they are joining forces to help bring a tournament to our shores that will be transformational for the game and provide a huge economic windfall for the country," he said.


AAP