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Ireland miss out on staging 2023 Rugby World Cup as France win bidding process

The IRFU bid was eliminated after the first round of voting in London.

France will host the tournament for the second time.
France will host the tournament for the second time.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND’S BID TO stage the 2023 Rugby World Cup has fallen short after World Rugby Council today voted France as the host nation.

By awarding the tournament to France, World Rugby’s Council has decided to reject the findings of its technical review group which recommended South Africa as the preferred candidate.

The IRFU bid was last month rated as the weakest of the three bidding nations across a range of criteria and despite last-minute lobbying of the voting members, Ireland were eliminated after the first round of voting with just eight votes.

In order to be chosen, the successful bidder needed a simple majority of 20 out of the 39 remaining votes — France, Ireland and South Africa were barred from participating in the ballot.

The first round finished with France on 18 votes, 1995 hosts South Africa on 13 and Ireland, who’ve yet to be the main hosts of a World Cup, eight.

With Ireland dropping out, France beat South Africa by 24 votes to 15 in the second round.

Last month World Rugby published an evaluation report which said South Africa should be chosen given it had an overall rating of 78.97, compared with 75.88 for France and 72.25 for Ireland, across a range of criteria.

Wednesday’s decision, announced by World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, means France will be staging a World Cup for the second time, having previously hosted the 2007 edition.

“I think we’ve been fortunate to have three great bids and certainly there’s going to be two of the countries extremely disappointed,” Beaumont said.

“Obviously delighted for France that they’ve run a World Cup before, they have run events before and I think it will be a really exciting tournament.”

France will stage the 2023 edition of rugby’s showpiece tournament a year before Paris plays host to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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