Wednesday 18 September 2019

WATCH - Brian O'Driscoll congratulates France on pulling off 'big coup' to beat South Africa in shock vote to host 2023 World Cup

Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll has congratulated France on being awarded the honour of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Ireland's bid ambassador was disappointed to see Ireland miss out after receiving just eight votes in the first round before Les Bleus beat off the Springboks by 24 to 15 in the second round.

"It's incredibly disappointing. A lot of work has gone into this. It wasn't our day. We came out third of three," he told the IRFU website.

"Congratulations to France, they almost won in the first round do I'm sure they'll host a great Rugby World Cup in 2023."

O'Driscoll praised France for getting the votes required despite the fact that South Africa was named as the preferred candidate of World Rugby's technical review group.

"It's a blind ballot so you don't know where the votes are going to come from or where they are going to go to so there is a level of uncertainty and council members voted that France was the most viable option and you have to respect that decision," he added

"It's a big coup to them to manage to pip South Africa who were nominated by World Rugby's independent committee so good luck to them."

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