South African rugby were shocked and bitterly disappointed after it was announced that France would be hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup. France is definitely the surprise winner of the secret World Rugby council ballot in London on Wednesday. The World Rugby chairman, Bill Beaumont, who announced France as the winners, said:
“Congratulations to France on being elected Rugby World Cup 2023 host. They presented a very strong and comprehensive bid, which clearly resonated with the council today. We had three outstanding host candidates, who raised the bar and overwhelmingly demonstrated that they were all capable of hosting an exceptional Rugby World Cup. There was very little to choose between the candidates and this was reflected in the independently audited evaluation report. I would like to pay tribute to Ireland and South Africa for their dedication throughout a rigorous, and transparent process and hope that they will bid again. We now look forward to working in partnership with France to deliver what I am sure will be a very successful Rugby World Cup in 2023.”
The decision will undoubtedly cause World Rugby to come under fire however, given the publication of the governing body’s independent evaluation report at the end of last month which recommended South Africa be nominated as hosts. In the first round of voting, France were given 18 votes, two short of the 20 majority required, with South Africa receiving 13 and Ireland 8. In round two, France reached 24 votes to secure victory, with South Africa on 15.
Source: The Guardian