South Africa recommended to host tournament

Casey Dawson
November 1, 2017

Tournament chief executive Andrew Hill says that the matter has been referred to Rugby League World Cup integrity unit for investigation and that the Italian officials are cooperating with the organising committee.

Now that the Rugby World Cup board have recommended South Africa as the preferred hosts for 2023, the decision must be ratified via a World Rugby council ballot in London on November 15.

It ranked third with 72.25%, while France was second with 75.88% and South Africa rated highest with 78.97%.

What remains now is to wait for the vote of eligible member unions on 15 November.

Ireland, who were initial favourites to host the tournament, are understood to have finished last in World Rugby's recommendation.

The evaluation was carried out by a team of "internal and external functional area experts", against weighted criteria.

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The sight of Nelson Mandela in a Springbok shirt presenting the Webb Ellis Cup to Francois Pienaar as South Africa triumphed on home soil is probably the most iconic image in the tournament's history. These include venues and infrastructure, commercial success, operational excellence, an inspirational vision, political and financial stability, public and private sector guarantees - and suitable climate and geography.

"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", World Rugby and Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.

"It is clear that the evaluation commission is impressed by the quality and detail of the bid put forward on behalf of Ireland".

The final decision will be made on November 15 in London in a secret ballot of World Rugby council members.

Instead, the World Rugby Council will meet in London next month to vote on which country will receive the right to host the competition and chairman of Ireland's bid oversight board Dick Spring believes the vote will still go their way. 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'.

Ireland has vowed to "compete to the final whistle", adding "nothing in the report is insurmountable".

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