Rugby World Cup 2023: France to host

In a shock twist in London, France have been chosen ahead of South Africa to be the host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

This will be the second time France has hosted the global event, with the result leaving South Africa “bitterly disappointed” on Wednesday.

“I’m delighted for France, it will be an exciting tournament,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont after the decision was announced.

“We had three exceptional bids.”

France received 24 votes to South Africa’s 15 in the final round of voting. In the first round, France received 18 votes to South Africa’s 13 and Ireland’s eight.

Beaumont added: “Congratulations to France on being elected Rugby World Cup 2023 host. They presented a very strong and comprehensive bid, which clearly resonated with the Council today.

“We had three outstanding host candidates, who raised the bar and overwhelmingly demonstrated that they were all capable of hosting an exceptional Rugby World Cup. There was very little to choose between the candidates and this was reflected in the independently-audited evaluation report.

“I would like to pay tribute to Ireland and South Africa for their dedication throughout a rigorous, and transparent process and hope that they will bid again. We now look forward to working in partnership with France to deliver what I am sure will be a very successful Rugby World Cup in 2023.”