Hosts set to be an­nounced today amid fierce bat­tle

Daily Dispatch - - Sport -

THE fog of war that has af­flicted the race to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup will lift today and is ex­pected to re­veal South Africa as out­right vic­tor to stage the qua­dren­nial show­piece.

Two weeks ago the Rugby World Cup board re­leased a re­port plac­ing South Africa first across a range of cri­te­ria on which the can­di­dates were as­sessed, rang­ing from sta­di­ums to fi­nan­cial as­sur­ances France, sec­ond, and Ire­land, third, came out swing­ing in re­sponse to the re­port and have been as com­bat­ive as their play­ers on the pitch, slam­ming the find­ings that placed SA in the driv­ing seat.

Had they been on the field of play – where rugby play­ers dis­tin­guish them­selves from foot­ballers for their po­lite ac­cep­tance of the ref­eree’s de­ci­sion – the Ir­ish and French would have earned at least a sin-bin­ning.

World Rugby replied with clar­i­fi­ca­tions but it is now up to the 39 votes on its coun­cil to de­cide whether they ac­cept the unan­i­mous de­ci­sion of the Rugby World Cup board to award South Africa the host­ing rights for the sec­ond time.

SA hosted the iconic 1995 edi­tion – which saw the first black pres­i­dent,

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