You wouldn’t have to look too far to see the fallout from today’s vote which saw France confirmed as 2023 World Cup hosts.
The process in which this decision has been made has not been without its flaws. First of all, an independent evaluation report recommended that South Africa should host the tournament based on a points-based criteria. This process, according to World Rugby, was transparent and fair – something which Ireland and France disagreed with.
Both France and Ireland rallied in the last two weeks in the hopes of securing the elusive 20 votes needed to win the tournament hosting rights and it was France who emerged the victors in this regard, to the dismay of Ireland and especially, South Africa.
We have seen the southern hemisphere nation release a statement outlining their disappointment regarding how they will not host the tournament despite being the best-equipped nation to do so.
Ultimately, the rugby world is reeling and IRFU’s Chief Executive Phillip Browne outlined his disappointment to Matt Cooper on Today FM with the Scots and Welsh some of the focus of that disappointment.
“We didn’t give up, we do have friends out there. Unfortunately, the disappointing thing was that Scotland and Wales didn’t support us.
“You would have thought [that they would support us] but the Scots went for the money and effectively said to us that they would vote for the bid that produces the most monies.
“The Welsh, I think, probably wanted to support Gareth Davies [WRU Chairman] who’s director of Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) who produced the evaluation report and then disappointingly, the Italians, who we’ve supported hugely over the past number of years effectively went with the French as well.”
Ultimately, Browne believes that the evaluation report had a detrimental effect on Ireland’s bid and it was one which they couldn’t recover from.