France to host 2023 RWC, Sth Africa livid

Joe Schmidt already eyeing 2019 World Cup

You wouldn't have to look too far to see the fallout from today's vote which saw France confirmed as 2023 World Cup hosts.

This morning, however, the World Rugby Council voted by secret ballot and arrived at their decision at Kensington's Royal Garden Hotel in London.

France held the Rugby World Cup in 2007.

First of all, an independent evaluation report recommended that South Africa should host the tournament based on a points-based criteria.

"I would like to thank the Irish and South African delegations", said Bernard Laporte, French Rugby Federation President.

They led after the first round by receiving 18 votes to South Africa's 13, with Ireland eliminated after receiving eight.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont defended the council's decision, saying it wasn't a repudiation of the independent audit.

Ultimately, the rugby world is reeling and IRFU's Chief Executive Phillip Browne outlined his disappointment to Matt Cooper on Today FM with the Scots and Welsh some of the focus of that disappointment.

"But apparently that wasn't part of the overall vision World Rugby had for it".

Joe Schmidt already eyeing 2019 World Cup
Jacob Stockdale of Ulster

"I believe that a tournament in Ireland would have been like no other".

"It was not the process which was not fair, but there were some aspects we did not find fair".

"We've won but it's really grass-roots rugby that has won", he added.

"In our letter, we had a great saying by Albert Einstein and here I paraphrase him: "There are a lot of things that can be counted which don't actually count and there are lots of things that count that can't be counted".

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt had been convinced his side's record 30-3 thumping of the Springboks in Dublin on Saturday could swing the vote of World Rugby's member nations, but that hope has now been dashed.

South Africa vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the architects of the relatively peaceful transition from apartheid, said a 2023 World Cup in the country would serve as affirmation of much of what the late Mandela stood for.

"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.

"That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week". We wish them every success as they turn their attention to delivering an outstanding tournament.

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