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SA lose out on Rugby World Cup, France named hosts

16 November, 2017, 02:23 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • AFP  File  Jean Pierre MullerNelson Mandela hands South Africa captain François Pienaar the Webb Ellis Cup at the end of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand in Johannesburg

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Congratulations to France on being elected Rugby World Cup 2023 host".

On Monday, 31 October, the Rugby World Cup board recommended South Africa as the preferred hosts for the 2023 Rugby World Cup; however, the decision must be ratified via a World Rugby council ballot in London on Wednesday, 15 November.

The victor requires 20 of the World Rugby Council 39 votes on offer.

The team behind Ireland's bid to host the tournament had vowed to "compete to the final minute" after their efforts were dealt a blow.

Had they been on the field of play - where rugby players distinguish themselves from footballers for their polite acceptance of the referee's decision - the Irish and French would have earned at least a sin-binning.

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.

"These clarifications have been addressed with significant supporting detail, and have been shared with the host candidates and World Rugby council".


"But apparently that wasn't part of the overall vision World Rugby had for it".

Laporte toned down his cricitism after France were awarded the tournament, but admitted he believed there were aspects of the process he considered to have been unfair.

"You would have thought [that they would support us] but the Scots went for the money and effectively said to us that they would vote for the bid that produces the most monies". In that time we developed a world class proposition which reflected positively on Ireland and saw us formally acknowledged as a destination well capable of hosting a superb Rugby World Cup.

Argentina, Australia, England, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales had three votes apiece.

Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, stated the South Africa had accepted the result despite the disappointment.

"It's bitterly disappointing and quite surprising".

"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 wish them every success as they turn their attention to delivering an outstanding tournament.

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