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Thread: France named as 2023 Rugby World Cup host

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    France named as 2023 Rugby World Cup host

    Guardian sport Thursday 16 November 2017 00.04 AEDT



    France is toasting the announcement that it will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after being named the surprise winner of a secret World Rugby council ballot in London on Wednesday.

    The bid beat off competition from the preferred hosts, South Africa – who play France in Paris on Saturday – and Ireland having received the nomination after a second round of voting was required.

    The World Rugby chairman, Bill Beaumont, who announced France as the winners, said: |”Congratulations to France on being elected Rugby World Cup 2023 host. They presented a very strong and comprehensive bid, which clearly resonated with the council today.

    “We had three outstanding host candidates, who raised the bar and overwhelmingly demonstrated that they were all capable of hosting an exceptional Rugby World Cup. There was very little to choose between the candidates and this was reflected in the independently-audited evaluation report.

    “I would like to pay tribute to Ireland and South Africa for their dedication throughout a rigorous, and transparent process and hope that they will bid again. We now look forward to working in partnership with France to deliver what I am sure will be a very successful Rugby World Cup in 2023.”

    The decision will undoubtedly cause World Rugby to come under fire however, given the publication of the governing body’s independent evaluation report at the end of last month which recommended South Africa be nominated as hosts.

    It was the first time that World Rugby had commissioned and made public such a report and there was no precedent as to whether council members would rubber-stamp South Africa as the 2023 host, or vote according to other criteria. The members were not bound by the outcome of the technical report but it will be of great embarrassment to World Rugby that France has prevailed considering this process was adopted in the interests of transparency.

    None of the three teams were allowed to change the details or their bid or offer inducements to council members but there were reports of the very horse-trading and lobbying that the process was designed to prevent in the run-up to the vote.

    In the first round of voting, France recorded 18 votes, two short of the 20 majority required, with South Africa recording 13 and Ireland 8. In round two, France received 24 votes to secure victory with South Africa on 15.

    South Africa insiders had feared the worst on the eve of the vote having declined to lobby for support. In the wake of the announcement, John Smit, who lifted the World Cup for the Springboks in 2007, posted on twitter: “That is devastating news, the joys of a secret ballot.”

    By contrast, Ireland and France had gone on an offensive following World Rugby’s technical report. The French federation’s president, Bernard Laporte, who described the eport as “nonsense”, led a last-minute campaign to charm voters off the back of France’s financial strength.

    The chief executive of the Ireland union, Phillip Browne, went as far as to write a letter to World Rugby outlining his grievances. It was targeted at council members and pointed out that as all three bids were judged to be excellent, ignoring the consultants’ recommendation was hardly a giant leap. So it proved, although Ireland, as in the technical report, finished third of third candidates. In the wake of the bid, Irish Rugby tweeted: Congratulations #France2023. Bonne chance”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...world-cup-2023

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    That was out of le bleu. Must admit, was hoping for South Africa 2023, then Ireland 2027.

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