South Africa are leading the pack in the right to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after the World Rugby technical review board recommended the bid from the SARU over Ireland and France.
Ireland had been odds-on favourites with bookmakers yesterday evening ahead of the publication of the report, which saw South Africa proposed with a percentage of 79%, to France’s 76% and Ireland’s 72%.
The final decision on the winning bid will be ratified by the World Rugby Council in London on 15 November meaning Ireland still has a shot at hosting a maiden World Cup, after South Africa won the right in 1995 and France in 2007.
The recommendation of South Africa comes after all three bidders made their final pitches on the 27 September and is the result of four years of hard work to claim the sport’s lucrative showpiece event.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said, “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.”