Daily Maverick

#RWC2023: Shock move as France trumps South Africa as hosts

In a shock announcement, France beat South Africa to being named as World Cup hosts for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.

In a highly irregular and unlikely turn of events, France was announced as the hosts for the 2023 Rugby World Cup on Wednesday afternoon.

South Africa, who was “unanimously” recommended as preferred hosts two weeks ago following an intensive bidding process, lost out in what is likely to be viewed as a shock announcement. It is the first time that a recommended candidate has not been awarded the rights to host.

The vote had to go through two rounds of voting with France winning 18 votes in the first round, South Africa 13 and Ireland eight. Ireland was then eliminated and the vote was a straight shootout between South Africa and France. The European country came out tops with 24 votes.

World Rugby’s report ranked South Africa top on a wide range of criteria, ranging from stadiums to financial assurances.

Fellow bidders France and Ireland were ranked second and third respectively and both countries were seething after the initial announcement.

Ireland, in particular, fumed and wrote a letter to World Rugby claiming the report’s findings did not accurately represent the apparent risks that would come with hosting a World Cup in South Africa.

France, meanwhile, fumed over how they were being “punished for being too strict on anti-doping”.

World Rugby responded and clarified their position and defended the report and the decision went to the 39 votes by the World Rugby Council.

South Africa was widely expected to be named as hosts and what exactly has changed in the last two weeks is not yet clear. DM

The Daily Maverick will offer full analysis on Thursday.

Photo: Dominic Bird (C) of the All Blacks in action against French players Scott Spedding (R) and Vincent Rattez (L) during the rugby test match between France and New Zealand’s All Blacks in Decines-Charpieu near Lyon, France, 14 November 2017. Photo: Guillaume Horcajuelo /EPA-EFE.

SARS & Gartner – global advisory giant’s mysterious deal with Moyane’s friend follows a pattern of tender corruption
By Pauli Van Wyk
Leaked memo reveals Thabo Mbeki Foundation’s opposition to ANC approach to land
By Rebecca Davis
By Zapiro
Magashule will fight to the bitter end, Zuma too
By Stephen Grootes
As SABC board is set to present detailed turnaround plan to Parliament, Minister Mokonyane is not helping
By Marianne Thamm
Concerns mount over Eskom’s medium-term system adequacy outlook
By Chris Yelland
From the Inside: Cultural shifts, from honour to dignity to victimhood
By Helen Zille
Corruption: Can we afford to continue ignoring the elephant in the room?
By Paul Hoffman
Hunting bans would condemn a lot of game
By Ivo Vegter
Ep. 161: Evita’s message of homecoming & heritage (Video)
By Pieter-Dirk Uys