France wins 2023 Rugby World Cup in shock decision

Bundee Aki celebrates with his daughter Adrianna after Ireland’s victory over South Africa at the Aviva Stadium

Bundee Aki celebrates with his daughter Adrianna after Ireland’s victory over South Africa at the Aviva Stadium

Schmidt's position and the IRFU's fight to overturn South Africa's advantage has run as far as chief executive Philip Browne writing a letter to World Rugby to challenge the independent process behind the preferred bidder recommendation.

Now, to cap it all, the nation's best money-spinning opportunity to reverse the depressing trend has been lost after World Rugby overrode the recommendations of its own board which had evaluated South Africa's 2023 bid as the best.

World Rugby are set to announce the successful nation to host Rugby World Cup event in 2023.

It replicates Japan being named at host of the 2019 tournament, before Tokyo stages the 2020 Olympics.

France got 24 votes to South Africa's 15 in the final round of voting.

France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after beating off competition from Ireland and South Africa.

"Maybe the only silver lining is that the last time the World Cup was held in France, we won it".

Had they been on the field of play - where rugby players distinguish themselves from footballers for their polite acceptance of the referee's decision - the Irish and French would have earned at least a sin-binning.

Beaumont rejected suggestions the decision made a mockery of World Rugby's process and that it was a humiliation for the organisation.

SA Rugby forecast another £60 million (R1.13 billion) in profit for World Rugby from hospitality sales and savings on event costs because of the exchange rate.

World Rugby had hit back at the criticisms of their process, labelling it inaccurate.

"I believe that a tournament in Ireland would have been like no other".

"As our nearest neighbours, that is a huge disappointment to us".

"We feel the process has been absolutely transparent".

"Our feeling was that in a secret ballot people could vote for whoever they wanted without fear", World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said.

"We are disappointed today but we can look back with pride at the significant time and collaborative effort which had been put into our bid and which proved that Ireland has the credentials to host a Rugby World Cup". We worked really hard for this for six years. We wish them every success as they turn their attention to delivering an outstanding tournament.

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