France announced as hosts of 2023 Rugby World Cup

France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in a shock conclusion to the acrimonious battle to stage one of the world’s best attended and lucrative sporting events. The country beat strong bids by South Africa and Ireland, but the award represents an repudiation of the sport’s leadership which have transformed the quadrennial tournament into a multi-million pound enterprise.

The recommendation was designed to guide the organisation’s elected officials, while reducing the behind-the-scenes horse trading and lobbying for support. In the final vote of World Rugby’s ruling council in London on Wednesday, France won after two rounds of ballots, defeating South Africa 24-15 in the second round.

Last month, the board of World Rugby, the global governing body, named South Africa as its preferred candidate following a technical review of the three bids, finding it was the best nation to host the event despite growing concerns about political instability. It was very close between the top candidates. We will learn as we go forward… Just because it went to France, I don’t think there has been a humiliation [for World Rugby]

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