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South Africa loses bid to host 2023 Rugby World Cup to France

South Africa loses bid to host 2023 Rugby World Cup to France

You wouldn't have to look too far to see the fallout from today's vote which saw France confirmed as 2023 World Cup hosts.

France has been officially awarded the right to host Rugby World Cup 2023 ahead of Ireland and France in London on Wednesday.

Going into the vote in London on Wednesday, the bid from South Africa were strong favourites following the meticulous auditing process and it was widely thought that the World Rugby council would simply ratify this decision, as they have done in past votes.

Following today's vote, France will be hosting rugby's showcase men's event for the second time and hosting the 10th edition of the event 200 years after William Webb Ellis gave birth to the sport.

"We can not hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success".

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

"World Rugby needs to decide what sort of tournament it wants", said Philip Browne, CEO of the Irish Union.

The shock announcement by World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont was greeted by a moment of stunned silence, before the French delegation delivered a muffled cheer.




"We believe this is the most comprehensive and transparent host selection process ever undertaken by World Rugby".

"But apparently that wasn't part of the overall vision World Rugby had for it".

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

Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby, said he was "desolated" and fumed about breaches of protocol by other bidders.

"In our letter, we had a great saying by Albert Einstein and here I paraphrase him: "There are a lot of things that can be counted which don't actually count and there are lots of things that count that can't be counted".

Former Ulster and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris added: "Having played in New Zealand in 2011, I've seen at first-hand how special an experience a World Cup can be".

"We are bitterly disappointed at this decision and would like to apologise to the people and government of South Africa for raising their hopes", he said.

"We can not hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success".