South Africa being pipped by France for the honours to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup came as a great shock. The question everyone will be asking now is why? The question nobody wants to ask is why not France? By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
France's announcement as 2023 Rugby World Cup hosts on Wednesday came as a shock. After South Africa was "unanimously" recommend as a preferred candidate by an independent committee, it was widely expected that the country would win the rights to host its second rugby showpiece.
The aftermath of that recommendation was not pretty. Ireland was fuming and France was furious, with each federation firing off angry letters to World Rugby. The sport's governing body shrugged off all concerns, defending their position. And so, off things went for a World Rugby council vote. New Zealand had publicly declared that it would support South Africa, but they needed much more than that.
The vote had to go through two rounds, with France winning 18 in the first round, South Africa 13 and Ireland eight. Ireland was then eliminated and the vote was a straight shootout between South Africa and France. The European country came out tops, with 24 votes....