Cape Town - If reports out of the United Kingdom are to be believed, Australia, and not reigning Rugby World Cup champions, South Africa, will host the tournament in 2027.

READ | WOW, WOW, WOW, says Beast after fans flock to support Springboks in Durban

In the afterglow of winning this year's global spectacle in Japan, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander admitted the organisation was exploring the possibility of bidding, but would first have to consider the financial implications.

South Africa famously hosted - and won - the 1995 World Cup.

However, the BBC website reported that even if South Africa threw their hat into the ring, it's Australia who are likely to be given the nod to host for the second time in their history following the 2003 tournament (as well as co-hosts in 1987).

France, who will host the 2023 event after beating South Africa and Ireland for the right to do so, would make it three northern hemisphere host nations in a row after England/Wales in 2015 and Japan in 2019.

It is therefore likely that the 2027 edition would head south of the equator.

It's no secret that World Rugby is desperate for the sport to catch fire in the largely untapped United States market, suggesting it's a foregone conclusion that when the USA do decide to host, they will be a shoo-in as holders.

A bid for the 2031 showpiece - rather than 2027 - would also avoid the rugby showpiece being sandwiched between the Soccer World Cup in 2026 - which is to be hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico - and the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

"You would think 2027 would need to go somewhere southern hemisphere," said Bill Sweeney, chief executive of England's Rugby Football Union.

"Australia is a really important rugby nation, who have had some financial challenges.

"Anything that World Rugby can do to support the game in Australia would be supported by all of us, I think."

With the bidding process starting in November 2020, the host nations for the 2027 and 2031 World Cups will be announced at the same time at some point in 2021.

READ | Nigel Owens left in tears after gesture from Owen Farrell and Kieran Read

- Compiled by Garrin Lambley