2023 Rugby World Cup: France beat South Africa and Ireland to host competition

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World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont announced the decision in London on Wednesday

France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after beating rival bids from South Africa and Ireland.

South Africa had been expected to win the vote after an independent review recommended they stage the tournament.

However, at a World Rugby Council meeting in London on Wednesday, France was chosen to hold the 10th event.

France – the main host of the competition in 2007 – won in the second round of voting, with 24 votes compared to 15 for South Africa.

Ireland, which staged matches in 1991 and 1999, was eliminated after getting eight of the 39 votes in the first round – France picked up 18 and South Africa 13.

South Africa hosted the World Cup in 1995, when the Springboks beat New Zealand 15-12 in the final.

England backed the Irish bid but Wales supported South Africa and Scotland went with France. The head of the Irish Rugby Union Philip Browne said he was “very disappointed” with that.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont described the selection process as the “most transparent and comprehensive” in the organisation’s history.

“I am delighted for France. They have run a World Cup before and I think it will be an exciting World Cup,” he said

“We feel for the first time that within World Rugby we have put the results of our evaluation out to the general public.”

South Africa beat England in the 2007 final when France last hosted the tournament

Last month, South Africa had ranked highest in the independent review after the three bids were judged on five categories…

  • vision and hosting concept
  • tournament organisation and schedule
  • venues and host cities
  • tournament infrastructure
  • finance, commercial and commitments

From the above criteria, South Africa scored 78.97%, France was second with 75.88% and Ireland was third with 72.25% – but members of the World Rugby Council voted to select France.

Bernard Laporte, president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), had criticised the original report, saying it contained a “certain amount of incompetence” and was “laughable”.

“We are not rated as well over doping because they tell us we are too strict,” Laporte told AFP in an interview last week.

“On security, we have the same number of points even though there are 52 murders a day in South Africa – it’s crazy.”

After the decision to award France the 2023 World Cup, Laporte said: “This World Cup is for all of French rugby. The economic impact will be for them. With the reforms that we have committed, we needed this World Cup.”

France President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: