Rugby World Cup 2023 to be held in France

Despite South Africa being the preferred candidate to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the event will be held in France.

This means France will be staging a World Cup for the second time, having previously hosted the 2007 edition. The tournament also comes a year before Paris hosts the 2024 Olympic Games.

In order to be chosen, the successful bidder needed a simple majority of 20 out of the 39 votes. France, Ireland and South Africa were barred from participating in the ballot.

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.

With Ireland dropping out, France beat South Africa by 24 votes to 15 in the second round.

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Last month, World Rugby published an evaluation report which said South Africa should be chosen given it had an overall rating of 78.97, compared with 75.88 for France and 72.25 for Ireland, across a range of criteria.

The report aimed to provide objective standards for a process previously dogged by allegations of backroom ‘horse-trading’ between countries.

England staged the most recent World Cup in 2015 which saw New Zealand win a second straight title after they triumphed on home soil in 2011. South Africa won the previous World Cup held in France during 2007.