Ireland bid rocked as report backs South Africa to host tournament

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This was supported throughout by stringent independent evaluation and analysis from The Sports Consultancy to ensure evidence-based objectivity and consistent application against a set of weighted scoring criteria based on the following World Rugby objectives, which were agreed by the Board, noted by Council and communicated to the host candidates.

"We are 100 percent confident that the commitments we made in our document will be delivered".

The final decision will be announced by World Rugby on 15 November, 2017.

South Africa famously held the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which came at a time where apartheid was still very much the major talking point in the country.

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It is a defining day for Ireland's hopes of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Bernard Laporte, the president of the French Rugby Federation, believed it was now a two-horse race.

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The category was worth 30pc, with Ireland finishing last on 21.75pc, nearly 5pc behind South Africa on 26.63pc.

Despite finishing third in the scoring, Ireland also wasn't giving up hope.

"Hopefully Ireland and France, like us, will stick to the moral high ground", Roux said.

Ireland has vowed to "compete to the final whistle", adding "nothing in the report is insurmountable".

Ireland, previously the bookmakers' favorite to secure the tournament, was let down in the "venues and host cities" criteria. Durban was stripped of the games after being awarded them because of a lack of financial guarantees. It is also clear from the report that Ireland has all the capabilities to host an outstanding Rugby World Cup in 2023 stating as it does ...'any of the three candidates could host a successful Rugby World Cup'. A lot of political capital had been invested in the bid - which had cross-border support from all the Northern Irish political parties and even British Prime Minister Theresa May throwing her support behind it - with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar coming to London for the final presentations last month.

SA Rugby said it forecast another $80 million in profit for World Rugby from hospitality sales and savings on event costs because of South Africa's favorable exchange rate.

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