The big news of the day is that France will be hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup, after Les Bleus won the vote, despite not gaining the official World Rugby recommendation two weeks ago.
South Africa were expected to come out on top today, but this result was a major turnaround.
It all came down to a ballot, and Ireland were let down by neighbours Scotland and Wales, who voted elsewhere, despite the RFU backing the Irish.
South Africa were also surprisingly left disappointed by not being backed by those geographically close to them, as the African confederation opted for France.
According to L’Equipe, France won with the following backing votes: Scotland (3), Italy (3), Japan (2), Georgia (1), Romania (1) – and four confederations – Africa (2), Asia (2), South America (2), Oceania (2).
After Ireland were eliminated after the first round, the French received the following transfers: England (2 of 3), Canada (1), United States (1) and North America (2).
World Rugby had stated that they had confidence in all three nations to be capable of putting on an impressive tournament.
France boast a huge pedigree for hosting major tournaments, including the 1998 Fifa World Cup, 2007 Rugby World Cup and Euro 2016.
While it is hugely disappointing for both Ireland and South Africa, we expect the French to throw one hell of a party.
Hat-tip: SA Rugby Mag.