South Africa recommended as host for 2023 Rugby World Cup

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Image: FILE PHOTO: New Zealand’s team celebrates with the Webb Ellis trophy after winning the Rugby World Cup Final against Australia at Twickenham in London, October 31, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

By Mitch Phillips

LONDON (Reuters) – The 2023 Rugby World Cup is set to be held in South Africa after the Board of the sport’s governing body recommended their bid ahead of Ireland and France on Tuesday.

World Rugby’s Council is expected to rubber-stamp the recommendation on Nov. 15. Japan will host the next tournament in 2019.

Ireland had been the bookmakers’ favourites having never been the main host before while France were the outsiders having staged the tournament in 2007.

South Africa hosted the 1995 World Cup against an extraordinary emotional, social and political backdrop after the country had missed the first two tournaments due to the sporting ban over apartheid.

The sight of Nelson Mandela in a Springbok shirt presenting the Webb Ellis Cup to Francois Pienaar as South Africa triumphed

on home soil is probably the most iconic image in the

tournament’s history.

There had been concerns that the current political instability would work against a return but the evaluation committee clearly felt that it was not an issue.

The evaluation was carried out by a team of “internal and external functional area experts”, against weighted criteria.

They included the likely commercial success and guarantees, venues and political stability.

South Africa’s 2023 tournament will make use of some stadiums built for the 2010 football World Cup.

 

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)
Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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