World Rugby has recommended South Africa as the preferred country to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup tournament.
World Rugby made the announcement of the Rugby World Cup (Ltd) board’s recommendation for the host candidate on Tuesday, following the assessment of a team of 10 World Rugby, Rugby World Cup Limited relevant-area managers and independent area experts, working since 1 June 2017.
Other countries bidding to host the tournament are Ireland and France.
World Rugby will announce the final decision on the host of the 2023 Rugby World Cup on 15 November 2017.
Welcoming the announcement, Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi described Tuesday as a “great and historic day for South African Rugby”.
“This was packaged as an economic bid. It largely pays for itself; it boosts sports tourism and economic activity and it creates jobs. We also said that the bid was a ‘triple win’ for the players, for World Rugby, the fans and indeed for our country,” Minister Nxesi said during a media briefing in Cape Town.
The Minister said much of the credit for this success must go to the professionalism of the South African Rugby Union bid team, government, which gave full support to the bid by providing guarantees and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who went to London last month to head-up the bid team.
Minister Nxesi said government will be working closely with South African Rugby to communicate the message around this tournament and to “build the kind of energy and enthusiasm that we saw in the build up to the FIFA World Cup in 2010”.
“We will be organising public viewing sites in the proposed host cities – in the same tradition as we established for 2010. We are almost there – one final push.”
South African Rugby CEO Jurie Roux pledged that South Africa would deliver a 'triple win' Rugby World Cup in 2023.
“We told the World Rugby Council that we would deliver a triple win tournament when we presented to them last month – a win for the game with record receipts; a win for the fans with an unforgettable tournament at a bucket-list destination and most importantly, a win for the players with the most athlete-centric event in the tournament’s history,” Roux said.
South African Rugby also thanked government, including Cabinet, for the support they gave during the bidding.
Speaking at the presentation of South Africa’s bid to host the 2023 World Cup in September, Deputy President Ramaphosa said rugby is more than just a sport as it has helped to transform the country.
“It is an important part of our political, social and cultural identity,” the Deputy President said at the time.
South Africa has successfully hosted the 1995 World Cup Rugby, the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The country has excellent sporting venues, including world class transport and communications infrastructure.