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‘IT’S CLEAR FROM THE PRE­SEN­TA­TIONS THAT WE HAVE THREE EX­CEP­TION­ALLY STRONG, IM­PRES­SIVE AND EX­CIT­ING BIDS WITH FULL GOV­ERN­MENT SUP­PORT. EACH, I BE­LIEVE, IS CA­PA­BLE OF HOST­ING A SU­PERB RUGBY WORLD CUP.’

NZ Rugby World - - Contents - Bill Beau­mont

CON­VEN­TION IS GO­ING TO BE BRO­KEN IN CHOOS­ING WHO SHOULD HOST THE 2023 RUGBY WORLD CUP, WITH AN IN­DE­PEN­DENT EVAL­U­A­TION PROCESS HAV­ING BEEN AS­SIGNED THE TASK OF REC­OM­MEND­ING A PRE­FERRED BID­DER. The three coun­tries bid­ding – France, Ire­land and South Africa – have all sub­mit­ted their fi­nal bids, been to New Zealand and other coun­tries to di­rectly present their case, and their fate will be de­ter­mined by a World Rugby Coun­cil vote in Novem­ber.

Ex­cept, un­like in pre­vi­ous years, World Rugby has asked two in­de­pen­dent bod­ies – an ac­coun­tancy firm and a sports mar­ket­ing group – to eval­u­ate the three bids and then rec­om­mend which one they see as the strong­est.

The cri­te­ria by which they will de­ter­mine ‘strong­est’ are:

Venues and in­fras­truc­ture com­men­su­rate with a top-tier ma­jor event

Com­pre­hen­sive and en­force­able pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor guar­an­tees

A com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful event with a fully funded, ro­bust fi­nan­cial model

Op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence through an in­te­grated and ex­pe­ri­enced de­liv­ery team

A vi­sion that en­gages and in­spires do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional au­di­ences and con­trib­utes to the growth of rugby at all lev­els

An en­abling en­vi­ron­ment of po­lit­i­cal and fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity that re­spects the di­ver­sity of Rugby World Cup’s global stake­hold­ers

An en­vi­ron­ment and cli­mate suited to top-level sport in a ge­og­ra­phy that al­lows max­i­mum fan mo­bil­ity.

NZR chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Tew con­firmed that it was highly likely that New Zealand’s two votes would be cast in line with the rec­om­men­da­tion and that he sus­pected most other na­tions would prob­a­bly take the same stance.

When New Zealand won the 2011 host­ing rights in 2005, their bid was in­de­pen­dently eval­u­ated, but no rec­om­men­da­tion was made to the vot­ing mem­bers.

For that tour­na­ment, New Zealand was up against Ja­pan and South Africa and the World Cup came here largely be­cause of the strength of the re­la­tion­ships formed.

For­mer NZR chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Moller and for­mer chair­man Jock Hobbs trav­elled the world be­tween 2003 and 2005, win­ing and din­ing vot­ing mem­bers, sell­ing New Zealand’s bid to them.

It was a hugely suc­cess­ful strat­egy in what was a politi­cised process back then when there was the abil­ity to trade for votes – with France win­ning the votes of Scot­land and Wales back in 2007 by o er­ing the two Celtic na­tions the op­por­tu­nity to host games.

Tew says the shi to this new process of an in­de­pen­dent group mak­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion was heav­ily de­bated be­fore agree­ment was reached.

World Rugby chair­man Bill Beau­mont said: “It’s clear from the pre­sen­ta­tions that we have three ex­cep­tion­ally strong, im­pres­sive and ex­cit­ing bids with full gov­ern­ment sup­port. Each, I be­lieve, is ca­pa­ble of host­ing a su­perb Rugby World Cup.

“I would like to thank our friends from the re­spec­tive union bid teams for their hard work, com­mit­ment and for shar­ing their vi­sion and de­tailed host­ing plans. My coun­cil col­leagues and I have much to con­sider and we look for­ward to the out­come of the thor­ough and in­de­pen­dent eval­u­a­tion process next month be­fore we con­sider and select the Rugby World Cup 2023 host union.”

South Africa are des­per­ately hop­ing they will be suc­cess­ful hav­ing not hosted the World Cup since 1995. AFRICA CALL­ING

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