End of the Rugby World?

End of the Rugby World?

End of the Rugby World?

South Africa said in its bid presentation that its World Cup would be a "triple win" for World Rugby, promising record gate receipts for matches, a tourist destination experience for fans, and a tournament focused on providing top-quality facilities for players to perform.

The news will come as a huge blow to Irish hopes of staging the tournament.

"We do not consider it a mere formality that SA will be awarded the 2023 Rugby World Cup, but the whole rugby world will surely have taken note of the recommendations".

Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby and the Rugby World Cup, said: "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".

The Rugby Football Union has not yet indicated who they will support in the vote, with recently-appointed chief executive Steve Brown confirming last week that they will await World Rugby's recommendation before deciding who to throw their weight behind. Ireland, on the other hand, have never exclusively held the World Cup, while it has been 22 years since the tournament visited the "Rainbow Nation" of South Africa.

World Rugby released a bid evaluation report by its experts and external consultants, and said South Africa was the unanimous pick.

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The 2023 World Cup coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of the game.

"This nomination is confirmation of [our] belief and reward for an outstanding bid in which no detail was too small to be addressed or any question not comprehensively answered", said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

Ireland has vowed to "compete to the final whistle", adding "nothing in the report is insurmountable".

France scored 75.9 per cent while Ireland trailed on 72.3 per cent.

The intensive selection process determined a financial model and the viability of each country to host the tournament, as well as ensuring sufficient revenues to continue the development of World Rugby.

"Regardless of the final decision it should not stop us from constantly being on the lookout for bringing large scale sporting tournaments to Ireland with Derry and wider region being part of those plans".

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