France pip South Africa to stage 2023 Rugby World Cup

Other than England South Africa is the only country to host a soccer cricket and rugby World Cup

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.

Ireland has missed out on hosting the Rugby World Cup 2023.

Last month, South Africa had been recommended to host the tournament, after an independent review of each host candidate's bid.

France received 24 votes to South Africa's 15 in the final round of voting.

South Africa's bid had previously been named as the "unanimous" choice by the Rugby World Cup board to host the tournament, ahead of both France and Ireland.

"We should never forget that the technical report found that Ireland would be excellent hosts for Rugby World Cup 2023, and there may be other occasions for Ireland to show the world what we are capable of".

Minister Ross said, "I know that the country would like to join me today in congratulating France on winning the bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023".

World Rugby had hit back at the criticisms of their process, labelling it inaccurate. Unfortunately, the disappointing thing was that Scotland and Wales didn't support us.

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But the former France coach was all smiles after securing the 10th edition of the tournament which began in 1987 when the sport was still amateur.

"Our feeling was that in a secret ballot people could vote for whoever they wanted without fear", World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said.

"It will be for the next generation of SA Rugby leaders to decide whether to compete for the 2027 tournament or beyond", he said.

What is clear, though, is how hard hit South Africa's rugby development will be without the "golden ticket" of the 2023 hosting rights.

South Africa staged the World Cup in 1995, with the tournament viewed as one of the most successful in the event's history.

"For nearly six years we have focused passionately on bringing a Rugby World Cup to Ireland in 2023".

"We are disappointed today but we can look back with pride at the significant time and collaborative effort which had been put into our bid and which proved that Ireland has the credentials to host a Rugby World Cup".

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