Rugby Cup crunch day for SA
THE champagne has been on ice for two weeks and today South Africans want the corks to explode at 3pm when the host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup is announced.
Chester Williams, one of the darlings of the historic 1995 triumph of the Boks, says a return of the Cup to South Africa is long overdue.
In 1995, South Africa won the Webb Ellis Cup against a backdrop of poignant nation-building for the fledgling Rainbow Nation.
Williams, the Bok wing on that historic day in June 1995, said: “This country has shown that is more than equipped to host international events. We did it in 1995 and again in 2010 (with the Soccer World Cup). We have the stadiums and, importantly, we have a sports-mad culture that will get behind the World Cup.”
In September, after an exhaustive tendering, clarification and evaluation process, the Rugby World Cup committee announced that the South African bid was commercially and technically superior to that of its rivals Ireland and France.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will head a high-powered delegation in London again with Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander and chief executive Jurie Roux.
France and Ireland were disappointed after South Africa won the vitally important recommendation and both have subsequently heavily criticised the SA bid while championing their own to influence today’s voters.
It’s not impossible for South Africa to lose today but should the unthinkable happen, it would plunge the rugby world into crisis.