France to host 2023 RWC, Sth Africa livid

Wear green and gold this Wednesday

S.Africa eye 2023 prize as bitter battle ends

"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.

France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in a huge surprise after the Council of the sport's governing body went against the recommendations of an extensive evaluation report in a secret ballot on Wednesday.

The announcement follows SA Rugby's submission of a 827-page, 8.2kg bid book which included a commitment from the South African government to exceed the minimum guarantee of £120 million (R2.27 billion) required by World Rugby with an additional guarantee of £40 million (R757 million).

Minister Ross said, "I know that the country would like to join me today in congratulating France on winning the bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023".

Ireland had also entered a bid to stage the tournament.

Ireland had been eliminated after the first round of voting with just eight votes from 39, opening the way for a France-South Africa showdown. "17,000 jobs will be created and I'm very proud of that".

World Rugby had hit back at the criticisms of their process, labelling it inaccurate.

"The set of rules were broken during that process, which we are upset about", he said, offering a few opaque comments of his own. We would have had the same thing here.

"We thank World Rugby for replying to our letter".

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt had been convinced his side's record 30-3 thumping of the Springboks in Dublin on Saturday could swing the vote of World Rugby's member nations, but that hope has now been dashed.

South Africa staged the World Cup in 1995, with the tournament viewed as one of the most successful in the event's history.

"It's bitterly disappointing and quite surprising". We wish them every success as they turn their attention to delivering an outstanding tournament.

"It will be played out in reality that a country coming from a sad past, we will have achieved Nelson Mandela's dream of a true rainbow nation".

"We are disappointed today but we can look back with pride at the significant time and collaborative effort which had been put into our bid and which proved that Ireland has the credentials to host a Rugby World Cup".

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