South Africa took a huge step towards hosting their second Rugby World Cup on Tuesday when the Rugby World Cup Board recommended unanimously they should welcome the 2023 edition.
South Africa — who hosted the 1995 tournament — will learn whether the World Rugby Council accept the recommendation on November 15 when they vote, with Ireland and France the other two options.
Bill Beaumont, Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman and head of the sport’s governing body World Rugby, said South Africa had emerged as clearly ahead in all seven key criteria such as stadia and financial assurances.
“The comprehensive and independently scrutinised evaluation reaffirmed that we have three exceptional bids,” said Beaumont in a statement.
“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.”
South Africa — whose bid had looked weakened by Durban’s withdrawing as hosts of the 2022 Commonwealth Games and abandoning recently plans for a Twenty20 tournament — understandably reacted with delight but noted that they still needed to have it rubberstamped by gaining a majority of the 39 votes on offer in November.
“This nomination is confirmation of that belief and reward for an outstanding bid in which no detail was too small to be addressed or any question not comprehensively answered,” said South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.
“We are 100 percent confident that the commitments we made in our document will be delivered. We will make all of world rugby proud of South Africa 2023.” – Agence France-Presse