S.Africa eye 2023 prize as bitter battle ends

16 November, 2017, 02:22 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Brian O'Driscoll was ambassador for Ireland's bid

Beaumont had previously said he wanted the Council to follow the Board.

France received 24 votes to South Africa's 15 in the final round of voting.

"We did dispute some aspects but I'm not saying that's why we won", he said.

"We believe this is the most comprehensive and transparent host selection process ever undertaken by World Rugby". 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. "It's worth a billion Euros for (French) shopkeepers".

Questions were soon raised about how France, which will also host the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, had attracted so much support.

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"We have said throughout that we would honour both the letter and the spirit of the process and we now consider the 2023 bidding process closed".

Coming after an expected dip in revenues from the 2019 tournament in Japan, that extra funding appeared to make an irresistible case for some voters.

In October South Africa was named as the preferred host nation in October after finishing in top place following a lengthy evaluation process.

"It's like losing in the 79th minute of a match when you're ahead", said Mark Alexander, the SA Rugby president who felt the need to apologise to the nation for raising its expectations.

"We produced a compelling bid document that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Rugby World Cup board".

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"World Rugby can confirm that it has addressed in full, clarification requests by the Rugby World Cup 2023 host candidates and council members", read World Rugby's statement.

"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".

"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".

"Money shouldn't be everything".

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