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Jamaica on list to host 2019 Rugby World Cup


JAMAICA HAS never played in the Rugby World Cup, but the Caribbean island has put in a bid to host the sport's biggest showpiece.

When the International Rugby Board (IRB) tendering for the 2019 tournament ended on Friday, Jamaica was a surprising candidate among the list.

According to the IRB, Jamaica will compete against Australia, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, Wales, Japan and Russia for the right to stage the 2019 event. Jamaica's men's team is ranked 85th in the IRB world rankings.

Bidding to host

A media release on the IRB website welcomed the news the Caribbean island was bidding to host such a prestigious event, which will attract the world's best teams and players.

Bernard Lapasset, the IRB chairman, lauded all the nations which expressed an interest in the process.

"The IRB council will announce the RWC 2015 and 2019 host unions in July 2009, six years prior to the first tournament and 10 years prior to the 2019 event. This timetable reflects the scale and nature of the preparatory work in delivering this world-class tournament," noted Lapasset.

Possible countries

"Five of the six IRB regions are represented, with Italy, Jamaica and Russia signalling an interest to tender for a Rugby World Cup for the first time. Such a response highlights the growing development and popularity of rugby across the world.

"This is tremendous news for Rugby World Cup. The fact that 10 member unions have signalled their intention to tender for the 2015 and 2019 tournaments reflects the growing global prestige of the Rugby World Cup."

Bids were also accepted for the 2015 World Cup and the prospective venues are: Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales who will bid against Japan.

New Zealand has already been named to host the 2011 tournament. South Africa won the 2007 edition, which was held in France.