SA Rugby 'bitterly disappointed' at Rugby World Cup 2023 vote

SA Rugby 'bitterly disappointed' at Rugby World Cup 2023 vote

SA Rugby says while it accepts the Rugby World Cup 2023 vote outcome - it is "bitterly disappointed".

Rugby, Springboks, fans, SA

It has expressed its disappointment with the decision by the World Rugby Council to overturn a recommendation that South Africa host the 2023 Rugby World Cup and instead voted for France to host the tournament in a secret ballot.


"We are bitterly disappointed at this decision and would like to apologise to the people and government of South Africa for raising their hopes," says SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.

South Africa preferred 2023 Rugby World Cup host


He says they did everything in their power to bring the tournament to South Africa.


"We produced a compelling bid document that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Rugby World Cup Ltd board. That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week.


"However, the view of the experts and World Rugby's leadership was overturned by World Rugby Council members, who may have had other factors to take into account. We cannot hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success," Alexander adds.


SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux ruled out any suggestions that his organisation might challenge the vote.


"We have said throughout that we would honour both the letter and the spirit of the process and we now consider the 2023 bidding process closed.


"However, in the feedback sessions I am sure we will be recommending to the World Rugby Councilthat the verdict of the evaluation committee become binding. World Rugby ran an exhaustive and transparent process for 15 months to identify the best host nation, only for the process to go entirely opaque for the past two weeks."


Alexander says that after a fourth successive disappointment in the Rugby World Cup bidding process it was difficult to know where South Africa would go from here.


"It will be for the next generation of SA Rugby leaders to decide whether to compete for the 2027 tournament or beyond," he says. "I am sure our country will fulfil the dream of hosting the tournament once again someday; our hearts bleed that it will not be in 2023."

Show's Stories