France wins 2023 Rugby World Cup in shock decision

France wins 2023 Rugby World Cup in shock decision

The news comes as a shock, as SA had been recommended by World Rugby's Board but the council members voted for France.

The World Rugby Council today awarded Rugby World Cup 2023 to France, which was selected following two rounds of voting during its interim meeting in London.

David Sterling, Head of Northern Ireland Civil Service: "I too would like to congratulate France and wish them well for a successful tournament in 2023".

Ultimately, the rugby world is reeling and IRFU's Chief Executive Phillip Browne outlined his disappointment to Matt Cooper on Today FM with the Scots and Welsh some of the focus of that disappointment. "The set of rules were broken during that process, which we are upset about", he said, offering a few opaque comments of his own.

In October South Africa was named as the preferred host nation in October after finishing in top place following a lengthy evaluation process. In that time we developed a world class proposition which reflected positively on Ireland and saw us formally acknowledged as a destination well capable of hosting a superb Rugby World Cup.

Stransky told South African media. Unfortunately, the disappointing thing was that Scotland and Wales didn't support us. The remaining Six Nations and SANZAR countries had three votes each with the rest made up from the six regional associations and smaller rugby countries.

Members of the media watch a live relay as France is named to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in London
Members of the media watch a live relay as France is named to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in London

"We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed".

South Africa vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the architects of the relatively peaceful transition from apartheid, said a 2023 World Cup in the country would serve as affirmation of much of what the late Mandela stood for.

"We produced a compelling bid that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Board".

Yet the secret ballot held on Thursday morning (NZT) backed France, which last hosted the World Cup in 2007.

"We can not hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success".

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