Ireland's bid to host 2023 Rugby World Cup in tatters after finishing last in most criteria
Ireland's chances of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup are looking extremely remote after World Rugby decided against endorsing the all-island bid today.
World Rugby have released the name of the preferred candidate following an exhaustive technical appraisal of the three bids and have gone with South Africa. France came second and Ireland third, and last, in the process.
Ireland finished on a score of 72.25% behind France (75,88%) and South Africa (78.97%).
South Africa will now be recommended as RWC 2023 hosts by the Rugby World Cup board. The two-time winners famously previously hosted the tournament in 1995.
The technical review group assessed each bid on five criteria, they were: finance and tournament guarantees; venues and host cities; tournament infrastructure; vision and concept, and tournament organisation and schedule.
The Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board has unanimously recommended to the World Rugby Council the selection of South Africa as Rugby World Cup 2023 host. This means that Ireland's chances of hosting the tournament are effectively over.
Ireland finished last in all but one criteria as the table below indicates:
South Africa finished last under the 'Vision and Hosting Concept' but Ireland finished third or joint second under the remaining criteria.
World Rugby and Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “This is the first Rugby World Cup host selection to take place following a complete redesign of the bidding process to promote greater transparency and maximise World Rugby's hosting objectives.
“The comprehensive and independently scrutinised evaluation reaffirmed that we have three exceptional bids but it also identified South Africa as a clear leader based on performance against the key criteria, which is supported by the Board in the recommendation.
“I would like to congratulate South Africa on a superb bid and all the bid teams for their dedication and professionalism throughout the process to date. Our colleagues on the World Rugby Council will now meet on 15 November in London to consider the Board’s recommendation and vote to decide the host of Rugby World Cup 2023.”
The governing body's recommendation is not binding on the council members who will ultimately decide who gets to host the event when they vote by secret ballot on November 15.
World Rugby revealed it's recommendation today with a 220-page document of data in support of the verdict.
There are 39 votes available among the various unions and regional bodies with the winning bid requiring 20 votes.
Ireland’s bid received strong government support, unlike in France and South Africa.
However, unlike their rivals, they offered just the minimum bid guarantee of €120m, while France (€150m) and South Africa (€160m) were confident that money would talk loudest and it appears as though it has.
The IRFU have spent €4m on their bid and have called on the services of a variety of personalities from Bob Geldof and Liam Neeson to Brian O'Driscoll.
Ireland are now 7/1 to host the tournament with Paddy Power having been 4/6 favourites earlier today.
More to follow
HOW THE DECISION WILL BE MADE
- The result will be announced on November 15
- The winning bidder needs 20 votes out of a total of 39
WHO HAS A VOTE
Six Nations/SANZAR Unions not bidding (three votes each)
- New Zealand
Six regional associations + Japan (two votes each)
- Americas North
- South America
Four individual unions (One vote each)