Ireland, France and South Africa all promised millions in the bank, great stadiums and “the best tournament ever” before figuratively plucking on the emotional heartstrings as they sought to earn the right to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The Irish, who have never been the main host, are the bookmaker’s favourite, ahead of South Africa, which hosted a tournament against an extraordinary emotional, social and political backdrop in 1995, with 2007 hosts France the outsider ahead of Monday’s (September 25) presentations in London.
The host nation for the 10th edition of the event will be announced on Nov. 15 though it would be a huge surprise if the Council of the sport’s governing body World Rugby were to go against the World Cup board, which will declare its recommended candidate on Oct. 31.
The 2015 World Cup in England set records in terms of ticket sales, TV viewing figures and income but Japan, hosts of the first Asian World Cup in 2019, will make much less money.
Consequently, cash was a big feature of all three 2023 bids, with each making a big issue of their governmental financial securities and guaranteed profits, as well as great existing stadiums and minimal travel – meaning points of difference needed to be found elsewhere.