South Africa is set to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup following the recommendation of the RWC board announced on Tuesday morning.
France and Ireland were also in the running, but South Africa were awarded the most points by a team of experts. All three bids were dissected, analysed and scored, on the basis of several key criteria.
The World Rugby Council will convene in London on 15 November to confirm their decision as hosts for 2023. South Africa is all but guaranteed to pip Ireland and France, with World Rugby’s council unlikely to go against its board.
“The board made its recommendation following detailed consideration of the comprehensive host candidate evaluation report,” read the board’s statement. “In line with World Rugby’s mission to deliver a ground-breaking, rigorous and fully transparent host selection process for its showcase event, the report is being published today as agreed by council.”
Bill Beaumont, the World Rugby chairman added: “This is the first Rugby World Cup host selection to take place following a complete redesign of the bidding process to promote greater transparency and maximise World Rugby’s hosting objectives. The comprehensive and independently scrutinised evaluation reaffirmed that we have three exceptional bids but it also identified South Africa as a clear leader based on performance against the key criteria, which is supported by the Board in the recommendation.”
The announcement almost certainly ends Ireland’s hopes of staging the tournament on its own for the first time but commenting on the news, Dick Spring, the chairman of Ireland’s 2023 bid oversight board, said: “While it is disappointing not to have received the initial recommendation from the Rugby World Cup board, there is nothing in the report which is insurmountable and this is certainly not the end of the road. We absolutely believe Ireland can secure the tournament for 2023.
“On a first reading of the report, It is clear that the evaluation commission is impressed by the quality and detail of the bid put forward on behalf of Ireland. It is also clear from the report that Ireland has all the capabilities to host an outstanding Rugby World Cup in 2023 stating as it does … ‘any of the three candidates could host a successful Rugby World Cup’.
“Ultimately, the decision rests with the council members of World Rugby, who are elected by Rugby Unions from across the globe. These are individuals and unions who have reacted positively to our message and vision for the tournament, as we criss-crossed the globe over the past two years.
“We will again, in the coming weeks, renew our vision to the council members – a commercially successful rugby tournament based on rugby’s values of integrity and camaraderie, played in full stadia in the hearts of towns and cities.
“Ireland’s proposition in this regard is compelling, and so our team will compete to the final whistle as we bid to turn our historic bid plans into reality. We still have confidence that the Council members, who vote on 15 November, will place their trust in Ireland to deliver an outstanding 2023 Rugby World Cup.”
South Africa set to host Rugby World Cup 2023 after board recommendation – The Guardian