Sunday, 17 December, 2017

France pip South Africa to stage 2023 Rugby World Cup

France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup France named as shock 2023 Rugby World Cup hosts ahead of South Africa
Angelica Greene | 16 November, 2017, 01:59

South Africa vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the architects of the relatively peaceful transition from apartheid, said a 2023 World Cup in the country would serve as affirmation of much of what the late Mandela stood for.

The fog of war that has afflicted the race to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup will lift on Wednesday and is expected to reveal South Africa as outright victors to stage the quadrennial showpiece.

South Africa had been recommended by World Rugby's Board but Council members voted convincingly 24-15 for France, which also held the tournament in 2007, after Ireland was knocked out in the first round.

"It would have been a huge honour and privilege for the people of Ireland to host the world for a few special weeks and for us to represent them".

World Rugby's technical review group released findings last month that Ireland's bid is the weakest of the three but many are hopeful that we'll come out on top.

"This is the fourth successive time we have bid for the tournament: this is not a "nice-to-have" for rugby in South Africa - the opportunity to recapture just some of the spirit of 1995 has been an obsession for us". "17,000 jobs will be created and I'm very proud of that".

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The credibility of this process for World.

David Sterling, Head of Northern Ireland Civil Service: "I too would like to congratulate France and wish them well for a successful tournament in 2023". I have no regrets about bidding for the tournament and I want to thank everyone who was involved in it. Unfortunately, the disappointing thing was that Scotland and Wales didn't support us.

Japan, the 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts, carried two votes along with the six regional associations.

"One has to ask the question, why has the vote gone against the recommendation when most of the unions said they would vote with the recommendation?"

Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby, said he was "desolated" and fumed about breaches of protocol by other bidders.

"We are disappointed today but we can look back with pride at the significant time and collaborative effort which had been put into our bid and which proved that Ireland has the credentials to host a Rugby World Cup". Our bid team must take vast credit for all their hard work throughout the process.

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