World Rugby has announced that France will be the host nation of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
South Africa’s bid had previously been named as the “unanimous” choice by the Rugby World Cup board to host the tournament, ahead of both France and Ireland.
The announcement follows SA Rugby’s submission of a 827-page, 8.2kg bid book which included a commitment from the South African government to exceed the minimum guarantee of £120 million (R2.27 billion) required by World Rugby with an additional guarantee of £40 million (R757 million).
SA Rugby forecast another £60 million (R1.13 billion) in profit for World Rugby from hospitality sales and savings on event costs because of the exchange rate.
The tournament promised the largest ever attendance for a final with a record 87,436 spectators at the FNB Stadium as part of an availability of 2.9 million match tickets for the event – also a record.
“Hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 will be a massive boost for our country as well as the game of rugby,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux ahead of the announcement.
“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.”
France got 24 votes to South Africa’s 15 in the final round of voting.