South Africa clear leaders to host 2023 Rugby World Cup

Rugby League World Cup double header. Ireland v Italy and Scotland v Tonga at Barlow Park Cairns. Island's Liam Kay

"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 in a bucket-list destination and, most importantly, a win for the players with the most athlete-centric event in the tournament's history", SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said.

The Rugby World Cup Board has made an initial recommendation that South Africa would be the most favoured country to be awarded the hosting duties.

Vision and hosting concept was worth 10pc of the overall score, with Ireland finishing second in this category with 6.75pc.

What remains now is to wait for the vote of eligible member unions on 15 November.

South Africa last hosted the Rugby World Cup in 1995, when a triumphant Springboks became a symbol for Nelson Mandela's new Rainbow Nation.

They also included the likely commercial success and guarantees, venues and political stability.

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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.

"This is the first Rugby World Cup host selection to take place following a complete redesign of the bidding process to promote greater transparency and maximise World Rugby's hosting objectives", former England captain Beaumont said.

"We absolutely believe Ireland can secure the tournament for 2023", Spring said.

In assessing the "cities" put forward in the Irish bid, the report said that one is "significantly smaller than the other bidders" smallest city", later saying that Killarney "is not sizeable with less experience in large scale global events'.

"Other than that, we honestly can't do anything other than walk into the council meeting (on November 15) and hope that everybody has made the right decision".

"Our team will compete to the final whistle as we bid to turn our historic bid plans into reality". 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'.

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