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Rugby-Australia's 2027 World Cup bid picks up steam with more govt funding

SYDNEY, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Australia’s bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup got a boost on Saturday with an additional A$8.8 million ($6.27 million) in funding from the federal government as part of its wider efforts for post-coronavirus economic recovery.

The government gave A$1 million in initial funding to the bid last year.

Hosting the tournament is projected to deliver A$2 billion in direct and indirect expenditure, bring in more than 200,000 international visitors for the six-week duration and create 12,000 jobs, Rugby Australia said in a statement.

“I want to thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Australian Government for supporting Australia’s bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup,” Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan said in the statement.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our country and we have already made significant headway in laying the foundations for a successful bid.”

Australia co-hosted the inaugural 1987 World Cup with New Zealand and had the sole rights in 2003.

The Australian government has seen global sporting events as a way to help rebuild the post-pandemic economy.

Soccer’s Women’s World Cup is being jointly held with New Zealand in 2023.

The Queensland state government is considering bidding for the 2032 Olympics, while South Australia’s state government has been urged to reconsider a bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Athletics Australia (AA) also said this week they were considering bidding for the 2025 world athletics championships after entering into talks with governing body World Athletics.

“We have never had a senior world champs. I think it would be a massive coup if we can pull it off,” AA chief executive Darren Gocher told The Australian newspaper.

“It will depend on who else we are going up against. There is a desire from World Athletics for us to at least make a bid.”

$1 = 1.4027 Australian dollars Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Ken Ferris

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