South Africa ex­pect to be con­firmed as the 2023 RWC hosts

Western Mail - - SPORT -

SOUTH Africa will ex­pect to win the right to host Rugby World Cup 2023 once and for all in London today.

Ire­land and France have re­fused to give up the fight for host sta­tus for the 2023 global com­pe­ti­tion, but both are likely to wind up dis­ap­pointed by the fi­nal vote.

South Africa was named as the 2023 pre­ferred host na­tion by World Rugby’s in­de­pen­dent re­view, but that only sparked spiky re­ac­tions over that process from Ire­land and France.

Ire­land head coach Joe Sch­midt re­mains con­vinced his side’s record 38-3 thump­ing of the Spring­boks in Dublin on Satur­day could swing the vote of World Rugby’s mem­ber na­tions on Wed­nes­day, but that ap­pears to re­main a long-shot.

“This could re­ally put the Ir­ish Rugby Foot­ball Union (IRFU) in the shop win­dow when peo­ple are vot­ing on Wed­nes­day,” Sch­midt said in the wake of Ire­land’s fine vic­tory over South Africa.

Sch­midt’s po­si­tion and the IRFU’s fight to over­turn South Africa’s ad­van­tage has run as far as chief ex­ec­u­tive Philip Browne writ­ing a let­ter to World Rugby to chal­lenge the in­de­pen­dent process be­hind the pre­ferred bid­der rec­om­men­da­tion.

World Rugby pub­licly ac­knowl­edged re­ceipt of that be­hind-thescenes let­ter on Fri­day, in order to con­sider the mat­ter closed.

“World Rugby can con­firm that it has ad­dressed in full, clar­i­fi­ca­tion re­quests by the Rugby World Cup 2023 host can­di­dates and coun­cil mem­bers,” read World Rugby’s state­ment on Fri­day.

“The abil­ity to sub­mit clar­i­fi­ca­tion re­quests fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tion and com­pre­hen­sive re­port on 31 Oc­to­ber was agreed and per­mit­ted within the host se­lec­tion process op­er­ated by World Rugby.

“These clar­i­fi­ca­tions have been ad­dressed with sig­nif­i­cant supporting de­tail, and have been shared with the host can­di­dates and World Rugby coun­cil.

“The com­pre­hen­sive and ob­jec­tive re­sponses re­flect the trans­par­ent prin­ci­ples at the heart of the in­de­pen­dently au­dited process.

“They do not im­pact on the de­tail or out­comes of the eval­u­a­tion re­port nor on the sub­se­quent rec­om­men­da­tion.”

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