France pip South Africa to stage 2023 Rugby World Cup
16 November, 2017, 02:25 | Author: Franklin Nunez
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T.D. and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. today congratulated the winning hosts of the Rugby World Cup 2023, France and thanked all the parties who produced a World Class Bid from Ireland.
France have upset the odds having been ranked second in last month's evaluation report, with South Africa having been recommended by World Rugby after boasting the highest score. This process, according to World Rugby, was transparent and fair - something which Ireland and France disagreed with.
The tournament also comes a year before France hosts the 2024 Olympic Games.
The exodus of South African players in search of better opportunities overseas continues apace, the financial state of the game there remains parlous and the once-mighty Boks suffered the worst in a succession of humbling defeats in August, 57-0 to the All Blacks.
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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. "The set of rules were broken during that process, which we are upset about", he said, offering a few opaque comments of his own.
Ultimately, the rugby world is reeling and IRFU's Chief Executive Phillip Browne outlined his disappointment to Matt Cooper on Today FM with the Scots and Welsh some of the focus of that disappointment.
The report found that South Africa is the favourite to win the bid.
"We've won but it's really grass-roots rugby that has won", he added.
Argentina, Australia, England, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales had three votes apiece. The remaining Six Nations and SANZAR countries had three votes each with the rest made up from the six regional associations and smaller rugby countries.
"It's like losing in the 79th minute of a match when you're ahead", said Mark Alexander, the SA Rugby president who felt the need to apologise to the nation for raising its expectations.
South Africa staged the World Cup in 1995, with the tournament viewed as one of the most successful in the event's history.
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