Ireland’s World Cup bid scuppered as South Africa named preferred option

Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 bid dealt huge blow as South Africa is named preferred option by Rugby World Cup Board.

Ireland’s chances of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup look to have evaporated after the World Rugby decided against endorsing the all-island bid today.

The drawn out technical appraisal indicted South Africa as the preferred candidate with France coming second and Ireland third, and last, in the process.

You can read their statement in full below:

The Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board has unanimously recommended to the World Rugby Council the selection of South Africa as Rugby World Cup 2023 host. The World Rugby Council will now meet on 15 November in London to consider the recommendation and vote on the next host.

The Board made its recommendation following detailed consideration of the comprehensive host candidate evaluation report. 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.

The evaluation report can be accessed in full HERE.

The evaluation of the detailed bid submissions has been led by a team of World Rugby and external area experts. This was supported throughout by stringent independent evaluation and analysis from The Sports Consultancy to ensure evidence-based objectivity and consistent application against a set of weighted scoring criteria based on the following World Rugby objectives, which were agreed by the Board, noted by Council and communicated to the host candidates:

  • Venues and infrastructure commensurate with a top-tier major event.
  • Comprehensive and enforceable public and private sector guarantees.
  • A commercially successful event with a fully funded, robust financial model
  • Operational excellence through an integrated and experienced delivery team.
  • A vision that engages and inspires domestic and international audiences and contributes to the growth of rugby at all levels.
  • An enabling environment of political and financial stability that respects the diversity of the Rugby World Cup’s global stakeholders
  • An environment and climate suited to top-level sport in a geography that allows maximum fan mobility.

World Rugby and Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “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.

“I would like to congratulate South Africa on a superb bid and all the bid teams for their dedication and professionalism throughout the process to date. Our colleagues on the World Rugby Council will now meet on 15 November in London to consider the Board’s recommendation and vote to decide the host of Rugby World Cup 2023.”

Independent auditors will oversee the process and the vote on 15 November, which will comprise a total of 39 votes, with a simple majority required to select the Rugby World Cup 2023 host.

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Raffaele Rocca

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