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2023 Rugby World Cup: Ireland bid rocked as report backs South Africa to host tournament

Rugby World Cup.

Ireland are hoping to receive the Rugby World Cup in 2023

The board evaluated the bids of all three candidates, with France the other potential host, before issuing its report but they do not hold the power to make the final decision.

Instead, the World Rugby Council will meet in London next month to vote on which country will receive the right to host the competition and chairman of Ireland’s bid oversight board Dick Spring believes the vote will still go their way.

"We absolutely believe Ireland can secure the tournament for 2023," Spring said.

"It is clear that the evaluation commission is impressed by the quality and detail of the bid put forward on behalf of Ireland.

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"It is also clear from the report that Ireland has all the capabilities to host an outstanding Rugby World Cup in 2023.

"Our team will compete to the final whistle as we bid to turn our historic bid plans into reality."

The report, which looked at every aspect of the bid from infrastructure to schedule, returned South Africa with a 78.97 per cent recommendation, while France were second (75.88 per cent) and Ireland third (72.25 per cent).

South Africa’s rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said: ”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.”

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont also added his praise of the South Africa bid, but also refused to rule out the merits of the other two candidates.

“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,” Beaumont said.

“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.”

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