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SA rugby officials stunned by 2023 Rugby World Cup hosting decision

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander says they thought they'd done enough to secure the event.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - South Africa has been left stunned and disappointed by a decision to grant France hosting rights for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

It was looking good for South Africa after being named as the preferred candidate going into Tuesday’s final vote by World Rugby officials.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander says they thought they'd done enough to secure the event.

“The outcome of the vote was disappointing. We have to apologise to South Africa for raising their hopes and thank government for all role-players who planned for it. It’s the first time that World Rugby has voted against a recommendation. We’re still trying to comprehend what happened here.”

Alexander says the result of the vote is unprecedented.

Ireland, South Africa and France were the three nations vying to host the rugby spectacle, with the decision coming as a shock to many South Africans.

The voting process consisted of a total of 39 votes with the winner decided by a simple, clear majority.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)