Sports

SA lose out on Rugby World Cup, France named hosts

SA lose out on Rugby World Cup, France named hosts

"Hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 will be a massive boost for our country as well as the game of rugby", said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux ahead of the announcement.

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. South Africa came top of that process by some distance.

France got 24 votes to South Africa's 15 in the final round of voting.

"In 2023 it will be a diverse rugby team and prove to the world what Nelson Mandela said, that rugby is a great unifier".

"I'm obviously hugely disappointed that we were unsuccessful in our bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, but I'd like to wish France all the very best in their preparations for the tournament", said Leinster and Ireland centre Garry Ringrose.

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It was the first time the Board's recommendation has been ignored and the decision was immediately followed by questions over the selection process and the point of running an extensive and transparent evaluation process only for the decision to be taken in secret.

"It was not the process which was not fair, but there were some aspects we did not find fair".

Browne, who has been in his post since 1998 and been responsible for successfully guiding Irish rugby from the amateur era to the professional world, believes though the prize is still up for grabs.

"We have said throughout that we would honour both the letter and the spirit of the process and we now consider the 2023 bidding process closed".

"Maybe the only silver lining is that the last time the World Cup was held in France, we won it".

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Japan, the 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts, carried two votes along with the six regional associations.

Last month, South Africa had been recommended to host the tournament, after an independent review of each host candidate's bid.

South Africa staged the World Cup in 1995, with the tournament viewed as one of the most successful in the event's history.

"We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed".

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