Thursday, 14 December, 2017

South Africa loses bid to host 2023 Rugby World Cup to France

South Africa's Tendai Mtawarira smiles during a training session at Twickenham Stadium London. First-choice props Tendai Mtawarira and Coenie Oosthuizen are back for South Africa against Ireland at La France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup
Kelvin Reese | 16 November, 2017, 02:23

"We don't think we were holed below the waterline and is why we are still in the battle and that is why we will keep battling away".

"Only kidding." he then added with a rueful smile.

"I'm still trying to figure out what is the worst - Saturday's result or today's", shrugged Roux.

World rugby officials made repeated references to an "open and transparent" process but faced repeated questions about the final decision being made in secret and the "opaque" nature of the last weeks of campaigning.

Talk about straw-clutching. That 2007 glory seems like so much pre-history now.

"This is the fourth successive time we have bid for the tournament: this is not a "nice-to-have" for rugby in South Africa - the opportunity to recapture just some of the spirit of 1995 has been an obsession for us".

South Africa was named as the preferred host nation by World Rugby's independent review, but that only sparked spiky reactions over that process from Ireland and France.

"It's like losing in the 79th minute of a match when you're ahead", said Mark Alexander, the SA Rugby president who felt the need to apologise to the nation for raising its expectations.

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Sweden did not shine at all in the first leg but did manage to get the favorable 1-0 win with a goal by Jakob Johansson off the bench.

"I'm obviously hugely disappointed that we were unsuccessful in our bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, but I'd like to wish France all the very best in their preparations for the tournament", said Leinster and Ireland centre Garry Ringrose.

"There were a set of rules, we abided by those rules up until today".

"We did dispute some aspects but I'm not saying that's why we won", 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.

The decision means France will host the World Cup one year before its capital city Paris stages the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"A World Cup in Ireland would be a particular World Cup, something which fans round the world would have enjoyed", said Browne. Unfortunately, the disappointing thing was that Scotland and Wales didn't support us.

Japan will host the next World Cup in 2019.

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