Rugby World Cup - Should it increase to 24 teams?

in #worldrugbylast month (edited)

With 20 teams in the Rugby World Cup, it gives some teams a missed opportunity to enter the World Cup. Here's how it can be done with 24 teams.

Option 1: 6 groups of 4 teams
With this format, the 24 teams that are participating in the world cup are spilt into 6 groups of four teams each with two three to play in the group stage. This replaces the 4 groups of five teams that has been in use since the 2003 Rugby World Cup. To spice things up, the final group games would be played at the same time to avoid a repeat of the "Disgrace of Gijon" at the 1982 FIFA World Cup. With 6 groups of 4 teams, the top 2 teams plus the top four third place finishers advance to the knockout stage and the lowest two third place teams and all forth place teams get eliminated. To keep the tournament at 7 weeks long, a Round of 16 stage would be implemented and it's from this stage onwards where extra time and sudden death comes in. The Winners of each match in the Round of 16 advance to the Quarter Finals and the winners of these matches advance to the Semi Finals and then the top two teams advance to the Final where Winner takes all. Matches for teams if they make the semi finals would still be at 7 and matches would increase from 48 to 52 thus more money incoming for teams, broadcasters and World Rugby.

Option 2: 8 groups of 3 teams
With this format, the 24 teams that are participating in the world cup are spilt into 8 groups of three teams each with two games to play in the group stage. This replaces the 4 groups of five teams that has been in use since the 2003 Rugby World Cup. With 8 groups of three teams, the top 2 teams advance to the knockout stage and the third place teams get eliminated. To keep the tournament at 7 weeks long, a Round of 16 stage would be implemented and it's from this stage onwards where extra time and sudden death comes in. The Winners of each match in the Round of 16 advance to the Quarter Finals and the winners of these matches advance to the Semi Finals and then the top two teams advance to the Final where Winner takes all. Matches for teams if they make the semi finals would be at 6 instead of 7 and overall matches would be down from 48 to 40 thus less money incoming for teams, broadcasters and World Rugby.

Schedule - 8 groups of 3 teams
10th September
A1 vs A2
B1 vs B2

11th September
C1 vs C2
D1 vs D2

12th September
E1 vs E2
F1 vs F2

13th September
G1 vs G2
H1 vs H2

16th September
A2 vs A3
B2 vs B3

17th September
C2 vs C3
D2 vs D3

18th September
E2 vs E3
F2 vs F3

19th September
G2 vs G3
H2 vs H3

22nd September
A1 vs A3
B1 vs B3

23rd September
C1 vs C3
D1 vs D3

24th September
E1 vs E3
F1 vs F3

25th September
G1 vs G3
H1 vs H3

29th September
Round of 16 - 1
Round of 16 - 2

30th September
Round of 16 - 3
Round of 16 - 4

1st October
Round of 16 - 5
Round of 16 - 6

2nd October
Round of 16 - 7
Round of 16 - 8

8th October
Quarter Final 1
Quarter Final 2

9th October
Quarter Final 3
Quarter Final 4

15th October
Semi Final 1

16th October
Semi Final 2

22nd October
Third Place

23rd October
Final

Schedule - 6 groups of 4 teams
10th September
A1 vs A2
A3 vs A4

11th September
B1 vs B2
B3 vs B4

12th September
C1 vs C2
C3 vs C4

13th September
D1 vs D2
D3 vs D4

14th September
E1 vs E2
E3 vs E4

15th September
F1 vs F2
F3 vs F4

16th September
A1 vs A3
A2 vs A4

17th September
B1 vs B3
B2 vs B4

18th September
C1 vs C3
C2 vs C4

19th September
D1 vs D3
D2 vs D4

20th September
E1 vs E3
E2 vs E4

21st September
F1 vs F3
F2 vs F4

22nd September
A1 vs A4
A2 vs A3

23rd September
B1 vs B4
B2 vs B3

24th September
C1 vs C4
C2 vs C3

25th September
D1 vs D4
D2 vs D3

26th September
E1 vs E4
E2 vs E3

27th September
F1 vs F4
F2 vs F3

29th September
Round of 16 - 1
Round of 16 - 2

30th September
Round of 16 - 3
Round of 16 - 4

1st October
Round of 16 - 5
Round of 16 - 6

2nd October
Round of 16 - 7
Round of 16 - 8

8th October
Quarter Final 1
Quarter Final 2

9th October
Quarter Final 3
Quarter Final 4

15th October
Semi Final 1

16th October
Semi Final 2

22nd October
Third Place

23rd October
Final

Continent entries:
With entries done with with these numbers.
Asia - 3
South America - 3
North America - 3
Oceania - 5
Africa - 3
Europe - 7

Automatic Qualifications to following world Cup:
One thing I would do is ban automatic qualifiers and have to make team earn their way to the World Cup by qualifying for them.

My Opinions:
At some point it will need to be expanded from 20 teams to 24 teams will be needed because of the popularity or rugby internationally because more teams want to qualify and more money is needed to be made. I think 6 groups of 4 is better because more teams means more games, more games means more fans and more fans means more money made by World Rugby. I hope they implement it in 2027 because more teams means more viewers.