Australia and USA have been confirmed as the host countries for the 2027 and 2031 men's Rugby World Cups respectively.

The decision was confirmed today following a meeting of the World Rugby council in Dublin, with the hosts of the next five tournaments across the men's and women's game decided.

As expected, the council voted for England to host the next Women's Rugby World Cup in 2025, with Australia the venue for the 2027 tournament (men), as well as the 2029 edition (women).

It will then be the USA's turn to host a first ever Rugby World Cup in 2031, before the women's tournament goes stateside two years later.

Today's announcements had been expected, with Australia having been identified by World Rugby as their 'preferred bidder' for the 2027 and 2029 tournaments. Previously the joint-hosts of the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, Australia last hosted in 2003 when England beat the Wallabies in the final.

A total of 12 stadiums across 9 cities have been identified in the Australian bid, with three in Sydney, two in Melbourne, as well as venues in Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Newcastle and Gold Coast.

The decision to award the hosting rights for 2031 and 2033 to the USA had also been expected, with the Americans being the only bidders.

Host cities and stadiums are yet to be confirmed by organisers, but 24 cities have already expressed an interest in hosting games, including Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Seattle, while the bid has been endorsed by President Joe Biden.

Speaking at the Council, World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "Today, we have approved three exceptional Rugby World Cup host nations – England, Australia and USA – providing unprecedented certainty and an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate the growth and impact of rugby globally. It is great for rugby, for fans and for the host nations.

"The confirmation of host locations is supported by a new partnership approach to event delivery, that will power long-term, sustainable development, including in the USA and across the women's game, enabling the sport to realise its global potential on and off the field, driving significant social and economic benefits for host nations.

"Today is a landmark moment for the sport, and an exciting development for fans. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this dream a reality as we look to deliver a truly global sport for all."

Listen to the RTÉ Rugby podcast on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow Leinster v Toulouse (Saturday, 3pm) in the Champions Cup semi-final with our live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the RTÉ News app or listen on RTÉ Radio 1.