SA lose out on Rugby World Cup, France named hosts

SA lose out on Rugby World Cup, France named hosts

A World Rugby Council meeting was held in London on Wednesday and France was chosen to host the 10th event.

The "clear leader" and recommendation of the Rugby World Cup board had been South Africa.

First of all, an independent evaluation report recommended that South Africa should host the tournament based on a points-based criteria.

"Hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 will be a massive boost for our country as well as the game of rugby", said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux ahead of the announcement.

Ireland were eliminated in the first round after receiving just eight votes and France won the second round against South Africa by 24 votes to 15.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont described the selection process as the "most transparent and comprehensive" in the organisation's history.

"It was not the process which was not fair, but there were some aspects we did not find fair".

They hosted the soccer World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships in 2000 and 2016.

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The report found that South Africa is the favourite to win the bid.

Browne, who has been in his post since 1998 and been responsible for successfully guiding Irish rugby from the amateur era to the professional world, believes though the prize is still up for grabs.

"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".

"You would have thought [that they would support us] but the Scots went for the money and effectively said to us that they would vote for the bid that produces the most monies". Football has been mired in scandal over the staging of its World Cup.

"We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed".

"That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week".

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

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