France will host 2023 Rugby World Cup

Rugby game with Bill Beaumont and Rugby World Cup in foreground
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont congratulated France on hosting 2023 Rugby World Cup

‘Strong and comprehensive bid’ beats rival challenges from South Africa and Ireland

France is to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, shocking favourites South Africa and a seriously aggrieved Ireland, which has never hosted the tournament.

As fate would have it, France play South Africa in the autumn internationals at Stade de France this weekend.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said at the announcement in London: “Congratulations to France on being elected Rugby World Cup 2023 host. They presented a very strong and comprehensive bid.”

However, the French win came just a month after his own body’s independent evaluation for the 2023 championship had put South Africa ahead because of its venues, infrastructure, host cities, organisation and schedule. There were immediate claims that France had 'bought' the tournament due to its financial muscle.

Voting in the first round today put France ahead on 18 votes with South Africa on 13 and Ireland on only eight. The second round saw France take 24 votes to 15.

It is the second time it has hosted the event – the last was 10 years ago, but also had games in Ireland and Wales – and the 2023 tournament will take place from September to October.

Nine grounds will host games - Stade de France, Saint-Denis; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille ; Groupama Stadium, Lyon-Décines; Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Villeneuve-d'Ascq; Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux; Stade de La Beaujoire, Nantes; Stadium de Toulouse; Allianz Riviera, Nice, and Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne.



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