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France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after beating rival bids from South Africa and Ireland.

South Africa had been expected to win the vote after an independent review recommended they stage the tournament.

However, at a World Rugby Council meeting in London on Wednesday, France was chosen to hold the 10th event.

France has staged the competition twice before – in 1991 and 2007 – and won in the second round of voting, with 24 votes compared to 15 for South Africa.

Ireland, one of five joint hosts in 1991, was eliminated after getting eight of the 39 votes in the first round – France picked up 18 and South Africa 13.

South Africa hosted the World Cup in 1995, when the Springboks beat New Zealand 15-12 in the final.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont described the selection process as the “most transparent and comprehensive” in the organisation’s history.

“I am delighted for France. They have run a World Cup before and I think it will be an exciting World Cup,” he said

“We feel for the first time that within World Rugby we have put the results of our evaluation out to the general public.”

Last month, South Africa had ranked highest in the independent review after the three bids were judged on five categories…

  • vision and hosting concept
  • tournament organisation and schedule
  • venues and host cities
  • tournament infrastructure
  • finance, commercial and commitments

From the above criteria, South Africa scored 78.97%, France were second with 75.88% and Ireland were third with 72.25%, however members of the World Rugby Council opted to select France.

Bernard Laporte, president of the French rugby federation (FFR), said: “This World Cup is for all of French rugby. The economic impact will be for them. With the reforms that we have committed, we needed this World Cup.”

Japan will host the next World Cup in 2019.

‘We cannot hide our desolation’ – South Africa reaction

South Africa said they were “bitterly disappointed” at the decision, but would not appeal against the verdict.

“We would like to apologise to the people and government of South Africa for raising their hopes,” added Mark Alexander, president of South Africa Rugby.

“We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed.

“We produced a compelling bid document that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Rugby World Cup Ltd board. That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week.

“However, the view of the experts and World Rugby’s leadership was overturned by World Rugby Council members, who may have had other factors to take into account.

“We cannot hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success.”

Chester Williams, who helped South Africa win the World Cup when they hosted the event in 1995, told BBC World Service that the decision was “disappointing and sad”.

He added: “It is a much needed event that we wanted here in South Africa and this could have been another opportunity for us as South Africa to reunite as a nation.

“It would have been an amazing opportunity to host the Rugby World Cup and the French have won it and we have to deal with it accordingly.

“We were about 90% certain that we would be hosting the World Cup. The whole of South Africa is going to be disappointed.”

Other Rugby World Cup hosts
1987: Australia and New Zealand
1991: England, Wales, France, Ireland and Scotland
1995: South Africa
1999: Wales
2003: Australia
2007: France
2011: New Zealand
2015: England
2019: Japan

bbc

5 Responses to Rugby World Cup 2023: France to host AGAIN

  • 1

    The SA loss to Ireland certainly did not help. I think it is the rather unfortunate timing of the coup in Zim, that sank us. Many people overseas have no idea that Africa is a continent made up of many different countries. They think that Zim is a province of SA. To illustrate this, I once had a very qualified person ask me if I knew someone in Nairobi, and other people once asked me if it was good to be back in Africa when I was in Tangier.

  • 2

    Who voted for Who!
    ROUND 1

    France – 18

    Scotland 3
    Italy 3
    Japan 2
    Georgia 1
    Romania 1
    Asia 2
    South America 2
    Europe 2
    Africa 2

    South Africa – 13

    Wales 3
    New Zealand 3
    Australia 3
    Argentina 3
    *Oceania 1

    Ireland – 8

    England 3
    Canada 1
    USA 1
    North America 2
    *Oceania 1

    *Oceania split their two votes between South Africa and Ireland

    ROUND 2

    France – 24

    Scotland 3
    Italy 3
    Japan 2
    Georgia 1
    Romania 1
    Canada 1
    USA 1
    *England 2
    Asia 2
    South America 2
    Europe 2
    Africa 2
    North America 2

    South Africa – 15

    Wales 3
    New Zealand 3
    Australia 3
    Argentina 3
    Oceania 2
    *England 1

    *England split their 3 second round votes 2/1 in favour of France

    Interesting to note is the following:

    – South Africa’s fellow SANZAAR nations stuck with South Africa in both rounds

    – France and Ireland’s fellow Six Nations opponents were split, while Wales even voted for South Africa

    – Japan, who have a team (Sunwolves) in Super Rugby, voted for France. Ouch!

    – The two African confederation votes went to France. Double ouch!

    That last one will sting in particular, considering the fact the Africa confederation have their headquarters in the same building in Cape Town as SA Rugby!

    But is that surprising when one considers their president, Abdelaziz Bougja, is a French citizen of Moroccan descent, who has been living in France for 30 years … ?

  • 3

    70th: England 65/5 Canada

  • 4

    Another try good running and passing by the backs. England 79/5 Canada 77th min

  • 5

    Final score from Allianz Park: England 79/5 Canada. BIG win for England well done.


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