Ireland’s hopes of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup have been dealt a major blow after World Rugby have decided not to endorse their bid, choosing 1995 host South Africa instead.
World Rugby have selected their preferred candidate to host the 2023 World Cup after months of technical appraisals. South Africa came out on top with 78.97%, France second with 75.88% and Ireland last with only 72.25%.
Each country was assessed on five categories: finance and tournament guarantees, venues and host cities, tournament infrastructure, vision and concept, and tournament organisation and schedule.
Ireland didn’t top any of these categories and came last or joint last in all but one as shown on the table below.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The comprehensive and independently scrutinised evaluation reaffirmed that we have three exceptional bids 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.”
This news, which came in the form of a 220-page document from World Rugby, is devastating for Irish rugby who received strong government backing, unlike France and South Africa.
Over €4 million has already been spent on Ireland’s bid to host the tournament by the IRFU and while it is not impossible for Ireland to be chosen as hosts, it now seems highly unlikely.
By Leo McGuinn