France wins 2023 Rugby World Cup in shock decision

France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup

Ireland has never hosted the World Cup on its own.

In a surprise move, France has been announced as the host of the Rugby World Cup in 2023, following an announcement by World Rugby in London.

This morning, however, the World Rugby Council voted by secret ballot and arrived at their decision at Kensington's Royal Garden Hotel in London. The first round finished with France on 18 votes, 1995 hosts South Africa on 13 and Ireland, who've yet to be the main hosts of a World Cup, eight.

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.

"We produced a compelling bid document that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Rugby World Cup Ltd board".

France has staged the competition twice before - in 1991 and 2007 - and won in the second round of voting, with 24 votes compared to 15 for South Africa.

Beaumont rejected suggestions the decision made a mockery of World Rugby's process and that it was a humiliation for the organisation.

"We believe this is the most comprehensive and transparent host selection process ever undertaken by World Rugby".

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"It was a bid for all of French rugby".

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt remains convinced his side's record 30-3 thumping of the Springboks in Dublin on Saturday could swing the vote of World Rugby's member nations today, but that appears to remain a long shot.

"One has to ask the question, why has the vote gone against the recommendation when most of the unions said they would vote with the recommendation?"

"It will be for the next generation of SA Rugby leaders to decide whether to compete for the 2027 tournament or beyond", he said.

Former Ulster and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris added: "Having played in New Zealand in 2011, I've seen at first-hand how special an experience a World Cup can be".

"We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed today".

"We can not hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success".

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