Last ever RWC in NZ?
Auckland - Australia coach Robbie Deans fears the Rugby World Cup may never return to New Zealand as the International Rugby Board places commercial returns over the rugby experience.
While the World Cup has been firmly embraced by rugby-obsessed New Zealand and its financial targets will be met, the country's small population base of over four million and modest sized venues have limited tournament profits to the IRB, rugby's global governing body.
This World Cup has exceeded by 11 times the revenue of the previous largest grossing event in New Zealand sporting history, the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour, but that is still dwarfed by the commercial returns available in major European rugby markets.
The next World Cup in England in 2015 is expected to be the most profitable in the tournament's history, with increased broadcasting revenues available as matches will be played in peak British viewing slots and bigger crowds expected in larger stadiums, with some leading football grounds set to stage matches.
But Kiwi Deans is concerned his homeland - which this year is staging only its second World Cup after co-hosting the inaugural tournament in 1987 - and other similar-sized rugby nations will miss out on hosting future editions because of the dash for cash.
"It's been a great event, New Zealand has done it very well and there's been a lot of comment and discussion around that when they first received the hosting rights," Deans told reporters on Wednesday.
"I think they've done a great job. I think the public has embraced it across the board and embraced the fact that it's more than just the All Blacks winning, which they may do anyway, which is great for the nation because they have been waiting for that for a long time.
"It's been a success. The interesting thing for the IRB is will it (World Cup) ever come back to a place like New Zealand again?
"Given they are the pre-eminent rugby nation right now and have no intentions of letting go of that in the near future, that's got to be a consideration for the governance of the game and what prevails."
Deans said it was important for the IRB not to just go for the commercial option all the time at the expense of a rugby destination for the game's fans.
"If you ask people who have gone to great expense to visit a country like this, they do understand that it's a rugby destination," he said.
"That's important. You can't just go to a commercial destination for these events all the time."
The World Cup takes place very four years and the 2019 edition is set for Japan - the first time the tournament will have been located in the lucrative Asian market - but no decision has yet been taken on the venue for the 2023 World Cup.