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.
France received 24 votes to South Africa’s 15 in the final round of voting. In the first round, France received 18 votes to South Africa’s 13 and Ireland’s eight.
Following today’s vote, France will be hosting rugby’s showcase men’s event for the second time and hosting the 10th edition of the event 200 years after William Webb Ellis gave birth to the sport.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Congratulations to France on being elected Rugby World Cup 2023 host. They presented a very strong and comprehensive bid, which clearly resonated with the Council today.
“We had three outstanding host candidates, who raised the bar and overwhelmingly demonstrated that they were all capable of hosting an exceptional Rugby World Cup. There was very little to choose between the candidates and this was reflected in the independently-audited evaluation report.
“I would like to pay tribute to Ireland and South Africa for their dedication throughout a rigorous, and transparent process and hope that they will bid again. We now look forward to working in partnership with France to deliver what I am sure will be a very successful Rugby World Cup in 2023.”
About the Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process
The Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection follows a complete redesign of the bidding process to promote good governance and transparency, while providing prospective host unions and governments with an opportunity to gather all the information necessary to ensure hosting capability prior to moving through the process. This re-modelling has been assisted by The Sports Consultancy, which helped develop the documentation and tools and supported World Rugby throughout the process, including the evaluation and assessment phase.
During the applicant phase, the first phase of the process, interested unions were provided with the criteria for evaluation. Initially, there were four applicant unions, but Federazione Italiana Rugby withdrew its application, leaving Federation Française de Rugby, Irish Rugby Football Union and South African Rugby Union to proceed to the candidate stage, which in itself is a mark of their ability to host. On 1 June, 2017, the three candidate unions submitted their full bid documents, which were evaluated by the World Rugby Technical Review Group. The group submitted its report to the Rugby World Cup Limited Board, which in turn made its recommendation to Council today (31 October) prior to the vote on 15 November.
Voting process for selecting Rugby World Cup 2023 host union
On Wednesday 15 November in London, World Rugby Council decided which candidate union would host Rugby World Cup 2023. The three candidate unions were not be able to vote during the process.
That means, in total there were 39 votes left to be won, split up as follows:
• The four remaining Six Nations unions and three remaining SANZAAR unions had three votes each
• The six regional associations (Oceania Rugby, Sudamerica Rugby, Rugby Americas North, Rugby Europe, Rugby Africa and Asia Rugby) and the Japan Rugby Football Union had two votes each
• The remaining four votes belonged to Georgian Rugby Union, Rugby Canada, USA Rugby and Federatia Romȃnă de Rugby
• The unions/regional associations cast their votes as they saw fit, including splitting their votes or abstaining
• The entire process has been overseen by independent auditors
• As no candidate won a clear majority (20 votes or more) after the first ballot, the candidate bid with the lowest number of votes dropped out and then a second ballot was called between the remaining two.
The Rugby World Cup Limited Board is: Bill Beaumont (Chairman), Agustín Pichot (Vice-Chairman), Gareth Davies (Wales), Mike Hawker (independent), Brett Gosper (World Rugby CEO).
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