SA Rugby on Tuesday delivered what it believed was a winning bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup at World Rugby headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
Jurie Roux, chief executive of SA Rugby and His Excellency, Ahlangene Cyprian Sigcau, South African Ambassador to Ireland, handed in the 827-page, 8.2kg document, detailing South Africa’s compelling case to host the tournament.
“This is a momentous day for South African rugby and in November, when the decision is made, we hope it will ignite the beginning of a six-year journey to a climactic conclusion at the National Stadium in Johannesburg in front of 84 373 spectators in the biggest and most spectacular Rugby World Cup final there has ever been,” said Roux.
“South Africa has the hunger and capacity to host this tournament like no other country on earth. We bid for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 tournaments and here we are again for 2023, proving that for our sport and country this is not just a desire it is an obsession.
“But our bid is far from being just about what it means to rugby in South Africa; it is all about what South Africa can do for world rugby.
“We believe we have submitted the strongest technical bid supported by world-class venues and outstanding training facilities in an ideal climate against a stunning African backdrop.
“Players will be able to perform in the ideal conditions of a dry and sunny South African spring, offering an unforgettable playing experience for players.
“We will maximise the commercial benefit for World Rugby with a low-cost, high-return event in a country that has the infrastructure and major event experience to turn on a colossal event.
“And fans and the rugby family will have the best experience of their lives, following rugby played in perfect conditions in one of the world’s leading tourist destinations where you can swim with great white sharks at breakfast, have lunch on a wine farm and dine under the stars at night at a bush camp – and all on the same day.”
Roux said that the combination of infrastructure, environment and climate would allow the sport to showcase the very best it has to offer, inspiring South Africa, Africa and the world.
He added that he believed that the commercial model contained in the bid would be hard to beat while 2.9m match tickets would be available. Unlike other mega-sporting events, South Africa would profit from hosting the tournament.
“The building blocks are already in place,” he said. “No infrastructure spend would be required and the economic impact study we have commissioned from Grant Thornton has a good news story to tell South Africa.
“We predict that hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 would have a R27-billion direct, indirect and induced economic impact on South Africa; R5.7-billion would flow to low-income households; 38 600 temporary or permanent jobs would be sustained and there’d be an estimated R1.4bn tax benefit to government.
“South Africa’s track record of hosting premier global sporting events is unparalleled and, along with England, we are one of only two countries to have successfully hosted the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup.
“Travelling supporters were safe and secure for all three events and took away memories of incredible times in a country that many regard as the ultimate destination for a rugby tour.
“We believe that Rugby World Cup 2023 in South Africa would deliver an event with a passion and nationwide excitement to match the 1995 tournament – 28 years on.“
Ireland and France are also bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
World Rugby is set to announce the successful applicant on 15 November. – Sport24