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[ALERT] South Africa preferred host for 2023 Rugby World Cup

This recommendation will now be put to a vote of the World Rugby Council on 15 November.

Bill Beaumont. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has been announced as the preferred candidate to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

This recommendation will now be put to a vote of the World Rugby Council on 15 November.

The three countries competing to host the event are South Africa, Ireland and France.

Making the announcement on Tuesday, World Rugby and Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “This is the first Rugby World Cup host selection to take place following a complete redesign of the bidding process to promote greater transparency and maximise World Rugby's hosting objectives.

“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.

“I would like to congratulate South Africa on a superb bid and all the bid teams for their dedication and professionalism throughout the process to date. Our colleagues on the World Rugby Council will now meet on 15 November in London to consider the Board’s recommendation and vote to decide the host of Rugby World Cup 2023.”

Independent auditors will oversee the process and the vote on 15 November, which will comprise a total of 39 votes, with a simple majority required to select the Rugby World Cup 2023 host.

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux has pledged that South Africa would deliver a 'Triple Win' Rugby World Cup in 2023.

“We told the World Rugby Council that we would deliver a triple win tournament when we presented to them last month – a win for the game with record receipts; a win for the fans with an unforgettable tournament in a bucket-list destination and, most importantly, a win for the players with the most athlete-centric event in the tournament’s history,” said Roux.

“This nomination is confirmation of that belief and reward for an outstanding bid in which no detail was too small to be addressed or any question not comprehensively answered. We are 100% confident that the commitments we made in our document will be delivered. We will make all of World Rugby proud of South Africa 2023.”

South Africa’s 827-page, 8.2kg bid book included a commitment from the South African government to exceed the minimum guarantee of £120 million required by World Rugby, with an additional guarantee of £40 million. SA Rugby forecasts another £60 million in profit for World Rugby from hospitality sales and savings on event costs because of the exchange rate.

Roux says the tournament promises the largest ever attendance for a final with a record 87,436 spectators at the FNB Stadium as part of an availability of 2.9 million match tickets for the event – also a record.

The required minimum number of at least eight world-class venues in established rugby centres are already in place – the smallest of which has a fully seated capacity of 43,500 – all of them familiar with hosting Test matches and with no need for extra infrastructure investment by Government to meet World Rugby requirements.

Hosting the tournament will also produce major benefits for South Africa, with a forecast R27 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic impact for the country.

It is estimated that R5.7 billion of that would flow to low-income households, while 38,600 temporary or permanent jobs would be sustained with an estimated R1.4 billion direct tax benefit to government.

In addition, SA Rugby’s legacy vision is to introduce 1 million young South Africans to rugby between now and 2027.

“Hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 will be a massive boost for our country as well as the game of rugby,” said Roux.

“This is the fourth successive time we have bid for the tournament: this is not a ‘nice-to-have’ for rugby in South Africa – the opportunity to recapture just some of the spirit of 1995 has been an obsession for us.”

Those eligible to vote in the secret ballot on 15 November are: Australia (3 votes), England (3), New Zealand (3), Scotland (3), Wales (3), Italy (3), Argentina (3), Canada (1), Japan (2), Georgia (1), Romania (1), USA (1), Asia Rugby (2), Oceania Rugby (2), Rugby Africa (2), Rugby Americas North (2), Rugby Europe (2), Sudamerica Rugby (2).

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