Hoskins shocked by New Zealand’s lack of 2023 support
SA is going up against France and Ireland for the right to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup bid.
CAPE TOWN – Former SA Rugby president Oregan Hoskins has told EWN Sport that he’s shocked and disappointed by the lack of support from South Africa’s closest allies for the country’s 2023 Rugby World Cup bid.
South Africa is going up against France and Ireland for the right to host the tournament, with the Irish having received strong backing from all the countries in the United Kingdom.
Ireland and France are looking to be the sole hosts of a World Cup for the first time, while South Africa is going for a second bite at the cherry after the historic 1995 showpiece.
Hoskins says he's concerned that New Zealand hasn't thrown their weight behind South Africa.
"I also looked at the fact that New Zealand, who have also been our closest ally, has decided not to come out in support of South Africa’s bid. We as South Africans totally supported New Zealand in 2011, without a doubt, I was there. I was just so shocked to see that New Zealand Rugby Union who claim to be our closest ally... I just cannot understand how they could come and say they would wait for the IRB recommendation."
Hoskins says the political backing from the United Kingdom for Ireland is worrying.
"My only concern is the fact that it has become more than just sport, there is a lot more to it. I look at the fact that Theresa May has given a letter for Irish support, so when I saw that from a distance, I just thought there goes the British Prime Minister giving her support the Irish. That for me says Scotland, Wales and England are going to support Ireland."
Hoskins says South Africa is deserving to host the competition and has everything that is necessary to make a success of it.
"South Africa has everything when it comes to international sports events. There is just no one to surpass in that regard, but it’s a funny old game. The Rugby World Cup is the third biggest commercial programme when it comes to international sporting events and it is so lucrative for a country’s economy."
Despite this, Hoskins is not very optimistic about South Africa being successful.
"To be honest with you, that old adage that says sport and politics cannot be separated, it is a fact and I think the signs are not good when I look at it from a distance. I just think that if I was appointing a prospective host, that South Africa ticks all the boxes and more."
Rugby World Cup Ltd will announce their preferred candidate on 31 October. That recommendation will be put to a vote of the World Rugby Council on 15 November.