Surprise vote gives 2023 Rugby World Cup to France

France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup

This was in line with World Rugby's aim to deliver a fully transparent host selection process for its showcase event.

Black humour was the only refuge for South African rugby officials on Wednesday after they lost out in the vote to stage the 2023 World Cup, a global event the nation had been convinced was in the bag. The first round finished with France on 18 votes, 1995 hosts South Africa on 13 and Ireland, who've yet to be the main hosts of a World Cup, eight.

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

France has staged the competition twice before - in 1991 and 2007 - and won in the second round of voting, with 24 votes compared to 15 for South Africa.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont defended the council's decision, saying it wasn't a repudiation of the independent audit.

"These clarifications have been addressed with significant supporting detail, and have been shared with the host candidates and World Rugby council".

"It was a bid for all of French rugby".

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"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. 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've won but it's really grass-roots rugby that has won", he added.

"It will be for the next generation of SA Rugby leaders to decide whether to compete for the 2027 tournament or beyond", he said. Football has been mired in scandal over the staging of its World Cup. We would have had the same thing here.

"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 produced a compelling bid that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Board".

"However, the view of the experts and World Rugby's leadership was overturned by World Rugby Council members, who may have had other factors to take into account".

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