S.Africa eye 2023 prize as bitter battle ends

16 November, 2017, 02:22 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
  • Brian O’Driscoll has backed ireland’s bid to host the World Cup

Black humour was the only refuge for South African rugby officials on Wednesday after they lost out in the vote to stage the 2023 World Cup, a global event the nation had been convinced was in the bag.

Some of Ireland's near neighbours are even said to have overlooked the Irish bid as the French swept home.

France received 24 votes to South Africa's 15 in the final round of voting.

South Africa hosted the iconic 1995 edition - which saw the first black president of the country, Nelson Mandela, adorned in a Springbok jersey, then seen as one of the pillars of white apartheid rule - handing the trophy to white South Africa captain Francois Pienaar.

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".

"These clarifications have been addressed with significant supporting detail, and have been shared with the host candidates and World Rugby council".

"It was not the process which was not fair, but there were some aspects we did not find fair".

Bill Beaumont the chairman of World Rugby will oversee the voting process tomorrow
Bill Beaumont the chairman of World Rugby will oversee the voting process tomorrowSHIZUO KAMBAYASH AP

Browne, who admitted the report had left him very surprised and disappointed, said evidently their vision and that of World Rugby as to how a World Cup should be hosted were worlds apart. 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.

"Our feeling was that in a secret ballot people could vote for whoever they wanted without fear", World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said.

Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, stated the South Africa had accepted the result despite the disappointment.

Former Ulster and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris added: "Having played in New Zealand in 2011, I've seen at first-hand how special an experience a World Cup can be".

"However, the view of the experts and World Rugby's leadership was overturned by World Rugby Council members, who may have had other factors to take into account".

Episode 36 of The Hard Yards rugby podcast features Tiernan O'Halloran and James Downey, with Tadhg Furlong on South Africa.

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

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