It’s turning out to be a disappointing week for international sport.
Having finished behind France and South Africa in the bidding process for the 2023 World Cup, it’s been confirmed this lunchtime that Ireland indeed will not be hosting the tournament.
That honour, despite the recommendation going to South Africa, will be taken up by France.
The final decision was made by secret ballot this morning with the majority of votes declaring France as the host nation.
Chairman Bill Beaumont said the selection process was “absolutely transparent” and hinted there “wasn’t much” between France and South Africa at the end – with no reference to Ireland. Concerns were raised at the nature of having a secret ballot for a recommendation that hadn’t been accepted by Council.
Alan Gilpin suggested France and South Africa certainly had the edge in experience in hosting big tournaments (FIFA World Cup, European Championships) but wouldn’t rule out Ireland’s ability to host the tournament in the future. No decision or talk about the process or selection for 2027’s Rugby World Cup are on the table at present.