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France slams World Rugby on 2023 bid report

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We know the French are passionate in most things they do and do not stay away from controversy and that is just what French rugby president Bernard Laporte did thsi week when he slammed World Rugby’s evaluation report that placed South Africa as the preferred hosts for the 2023 World Cup.

On Tuesday World Rugby has confirmed that South Africa’s bid had been ranked first with France coming in second and Ireland scoring the lease amount of points in the evaluation.

This did not sit well with Laporte who questioned the report from World Rugby.

Laporte wrote to World Rugby chairman to point out errors in their report calling process incompetent.

He complains about ratings being done by the committee on Hotels, doping and their security

 

He demands in his letter to get answers on these questions and get it changed to have France be placed in front of South Africa.

The final vote will be on the 15 November to decide who will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

 

To vote against SA’s bid would be an insult

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World Rugby risks its credibility being shot to pieces if the sport’s General Council does not endorse, by way of a vote, South Africa’s hosting of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, writes Mark Keohane for Sport24

The Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board unanimously recommended to the World Rugby Council the selection of South Africa as the preferred option ahead of France and Ireland.

The Council votes on November 15, but to vote against the recommendation would reduce the last 18 months to an insult to World Rugby’s governance and render the entire bidding process a farce.

It can only be hoped that World Rugby and Rugby World Cup Limited chairperson Bill Beaumont will privately have emphasised to the Council Members that the vote can’t be a horse trade and an event that turns back the clock on World Rugby’s stated ambition of being the most professionally governed of sports.

Beaumont was emphatic in stressing, by way of a World Rugby statement, that the host selection took place following a complete redesign of the bidding process, which was aimed at promoting greater transparency and maximising World Rugby’s hosting objectives.

It was telling how he described the victory of South Africa.

“The comprehensive and independently scrutinised evaluation identified South Africa as a clear leader based on performance against the key criteria, which is supported by the Board in the recommendation.”

Beaumont thanked France and Ireland for their bids and congratulated South Africa, describing South Africa’s bid as superb.

World Rugby’s leadership, in the hope of educating and inspiring rugby’s global audience, wanted absolute transparency of how each country’s bid was assessed and scored.

South Africa topped three of the five categories and two of the three primary categories. Ireland, seen as the emotive people’s choice, ranked last in all but one category and didn’t top one of the categories.

Yet, their leadership defiantly rejected World Rugby’s recommendation and publicly stated that there was confidence they’d be able to influence the Council to vote in their favour.

And herein lies World Rugby’s greatest challenge.

Why would the sport’s General Council Members go against the findings of the very same independent and technical committee they appointed to ensure there could be no claims of corruptness, of bias or of prejudice in determining which county best serves the needs of World Rugby as the 2023 host?

Why enlist experts and then disregard their finding?

The answer would be because of agendas and bias and prejudice …

World Rugby, in announcing South Africa’s victory, used words like ‘ground-breaking, rigorous and fully transparent’ to describe the working mechanics of the bid, as well as to give an assurance and a reassurance of the integrity of those who made up the Technical Review Committee.

“The evaluation of the detailed bid submissions has been led by a team of World Rugby and external experts. This was supported throughout by stringent independent evaluation and analysis from The Sports Consultancy to ensure evidence-based objectivity and consistent application against a set of weighted scoring criteria based on World Rugby objectives, which were agreed by the Board, noted by the Council and communicated to the host candidates,” stated World Rugby.

Every detail of the report is accessible to the public. Each category score has been made public; equally how each score was calculated.

South Africa did not buy a vote or manipulate emotion. It produced a compelling bid that scored the highest.

Ireland and France’s official response has a disregard for this, which should trouble World Rugby’s Board because it implies that back-handed deals could prove more compelling than the view of experts appointed and paid to give World Rugby market-related clarity, insight and expertise in determining the most appropriate 2023 World Cup host.

It’s about education and World Rugby has educated the Council Members, as well as a global audience by releasing the exhaustive and extensive analysis of each bid.

Ireland’s bid was emphatically third. France’s financial grandstanding has merit but not enough that it can be the only consideration because South Africa’s financial offering also ensures 2023 will be the most profitable in the tournament’s history.

Ireland’s bid technically was found wanting. It had nothing to do with lack of finance, or South Africa and France being cash heavy.

South Africa, from the outset, has trusted the intent of World Rugby in wanting to remove emotion, bias and prejudice. South Africa has believed in the authenticity of a bid process that is beyond the crass workings of one mate favouring another mate, and countries voting for individual gain, as opposed to what is best for World Rugby.

South African Rugby Union Chief Executive and bid leader Jurie Roux, when addressing the Council Members in London on September 25, told them that South Africa had only decided to bid because there would be a measurement of the quality of the bid that exceeded mere opinion.

Roux, in promoting the strength of South Africa’s bid, also put it on the record long before South Africa had won that there had to be an acknowledgement of the expertise that would determine the ranking of the three respective bidding countries.

Roux was confident South Africa would triumph but said that if the Technical Review Committee’s finding was not in favour of South Africa, then the country’s bosses would accept the recommendation.

If not, said Roux, then what was the last 18 months about?

November 15 in London is a vote about the 2023 World Cup host, but really it is more a vote about the integrity of the sport’s leadership, and by extension the sport’s governance.

Mark Keohane is a Cape-Town based award-winning rugby specialist and former Springbok Communications Manager. Follow him on Twitter 

SA Rugby welcomes RWC 2023 nomination

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South Africa would deliver a “triple win” Rugby World Cup in 2023, pledged SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux on Tuesday after World Rugby announced that South Africa was the preferred candidate after a rigorous assessment of the competing bids.

South Africa was named in preference to fellow bidders France and Ireland as the candidate best able to fulfil the agreed criteria laid out by World Rugby to deliver a successful and profitable tournament.

“Based on the evaluation contained in this report, the candidate that scored the highest marks and is therefore deemed to be the optimal candidate to host Rugby World Cup 2023 is South Africa,” said the report.

“It is the recommendation of the RWCL Board of Directors to World Rugby Council that South Africa should be awarded the right to host Rugby World Cup 2023.”

South Africa still has to clear one final hurdle before the celebrations can begin.

The recommendation will now be put to the vote of the World Rugby Council in London on 15 November. All three candidates will appear on the ballot paper but World Rugby has stressed to its members that recommendation of the Evaluation Committee should be taken into consideration.

There are 39 votes at stake with a simple majority required to determine the eventual host nation. The candidate nations do not have a vote.

“We told the World Rugby Council that we would deliver a triple win tournament when we presented to them last month – a win for the game with record receipts; a win for the fans with an unforgettable tournament in a bucket-list destination and, most importantly, a win for the players with the most athlete-centric event in the tournament’s history,” said Roux.

“This nomination is confirmation of that belief and reward for an outstanding bid in which no detail was too small to be addressed or any question not comprehensively answered. We are 100% confident that the commitments we made in our document will be delivered. We will make all of world rugby proud of South Africa 2023.”

Mr Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby, thanked the South African government for their support and said that their backing had been central to the bid’s success: “The support of Cabinet and the presence of the Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, in company with the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Thulas Nxesi, at the presentations in London last month was critical,” he said.

“The fact that the deputy Minister of Sport, Mr Gert Oosthuizen, and the Director General, Mr Alec Moemi, were also in attendance spoke volumes. I’d also like to thank the many stadium and city managers and other service providers in preparing our bid as well, of course, as our two World Cup-winning captains, Francois Pienaar and John Smit, who assisted in presenting our bid in London.”

World Rugby and Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “This is the first Rugby World Cup host selection to take place following a complete redesign of the bidding process to promote greater transparency and maximise World Rugby’s hosting objectives.

“The comprehensive and independently scrutinised evaluation reaffirmed that we have three exceptional bids but it also identified South Africa as a clear leader based on performance against the key criteria, which is supported by the Board in the recommendation.

“I would like to congratulate South Africa on a superb bid and all the bid teams for their dedication and professionalism throughout the process to date. Our colleagues on the World Rugby Council will now meet on 15 November in London to consider the Board’s recommendation and vote to decide the host of Rugby World Cup 2023.”

Roux said: “This was a rigorous and objective process which we have supported from day one and we thank World Rugby for instituting a process that took lobbying out of the equation and professionally identified which host would deliver the best tournament for players, fans and the game.

“We trust now that the World Rugby Council will follow through by voting to confirm what the experts have identified: that a South African Rugby World Cup in 2023 is the best result for rugby.”

South Africa’s 827-page, 8.2kg bid book included a commitment from the South African government to exceed the minimum guarantee of £120m required by World Rugby with an additional guarantee of £40m. SA Rugby forecast another £60m in profit for World Rugby from hospitality sales and savings on event costs because of the exchange rate.

The tournament promises the largest ever attendance for a final with a record 87 436 spectators at the FNB Stadium as part of an availability of 2.9m match tickets for the event – also a record.

The required minimum number of at least eight world-class venues in established rugby centres are already in place – the smallest of which has a fully seated capacity of 43 500 – all of them familiar with hosting Test matches and with no need for extra infrastructure investment by Government to meet World Rugby requirements.

Hosting the tournament will also produce major benefits for South Africa with a forecast R27 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic impact for the country.

It is estimated that R5.7billion of that would flow to low income households while 38 600 temporary or permanent jobs would be sustained with an estimated R1.4 billion direct tax benefit to government.

In addition, SA Rugby’s legacy vision is to introduce 1m young South Africans to rugby between now and 2027.

“Hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 will be a massive boost for our country as well as the game of rugby,” said Roux.

“This is the fourth successive time we have bid for the tournament: this is not a ‘nice-to-have’ for rugby in South Africa – the opportunity to recapture just some of the spirit of 1995 has been an obsession for us.”

Those eligible to vote in the secret ballot on 15 November are: Australia (3 votes), England (3), New Zealand (3), Scotland (3), Wales (3), Italy (3), Argentina (3), Canada (1), Japan (2), Georgia (1), Romania (1), USA (1), Asia Rugby (2), Oceania Rugby (2), Rugby Africa (2), Rugby Americas North (2), Rugby Europe (2), Sudamerica Rugby (2).

The final decision will be announced by World Rugby at approximately 13h00 (SA time) on 15 November, 2017.

SA gets World Rugby recommendation to host 2023 World Cup

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World Rugby has selected South Africa as its preferred host for the 2023 World Cup which is great news for South Africa and all South Africans.

The evaluation that was carried out by experts gave the recommendation to World Rugby after key objectives was looked at for the past few months. France came in second to South Africa and Ireland third.

World Rugby members will now vote and decide who will host the show piece on the 15 November and it is expected that they will follow the recommendation of World Rugby.

The result will come from 39 votes with the associations able to vote as they see fit. The process will be overseen  and the winner will need a total of 20 votes.

The groups are as follow:

Argentina
Australia
England
Italy
New Zealand
Scotland
Wales

Africa
North America
Asia
Europe
Japan
Oceania
South America

Canada
Georgia
Romania
USA

Rugby World Cup 2023 bid process factsheet

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Where are we now?

• Fifteen months of a 16-month, two-phase process have now been completed for the three bidding rugby unions: South Africa, France and Ireland.

• We have reached the critical stage with two formal steps remaining.

• At 13h00 (SA time) on 31 October, World Rugby will announce the Rugby World Cup (Ltd) Board’s recommendation for the host candidate, depending on which has achieved the highest score in an evaluation process. Please note: This is not the final outcome; that will be determined on 15 November (see below).

• The assessment has been performed by a team of 10 World Rugby, RWCL relevant-area managers and independent area experts, working since 1 June 2017. They have assessed all three bids with input from functional experts. The London-based Sports Consultancy has scrutinised each managers’ evaluation to ensure all candidates have been treated fairly and the criteria have been consistently applied.

• The evaluation report will be sent to host candidates and World Rugby Council members. At the same time World Rugby will announce the Evaluation Commission’s findings.

Voting process:

• On 15 November, World Rugby Council votes to select the Rugby World Cup 2023 host. The voting is by secret ballot and there are strict guidelines on lobbying. Voting should “take the Evaluation Commission’s recommendation into consideration.”

• None of the three bidding nations are permitted to vote.

• The bid which receives a simple majority of the 39 available votes will be named as the host for Rugby World Cup 2023.

• Those eligible to vote in the secret ballot will be Australia (3 votes), England (3), New Zealand (3), Scotland (3), Wales (3), Italy (3), Argentina (3), Canada (1), Japan (2), Georgia (1), Romania (1), USA (1), Asia Rugby (2), Oceania Rugby (2), Rugby Africa (2), Rugby Americas North (2), Rugby Europe (2), Sudamerica Rugby (2).

• In the event that none of the host candidates receives a simple majority in the first round, the candidate with the least number of votes will drop out before a second ballot.

• The host country will be announced at a media conference immediately after the vote at any time from 15h30 (SA time), depending on how long the vote takes.

How did we get here?

Applicant phase: June 1 – September 2016

• Designed to ensure that only qualified Unions and countries continue to the second phase.
• Italy withdrew at this stage, leaving only France, Ireland and South Africa.

Candidate phase: November 2016 – 25 September 2017

• Country visit: 13 – 15 March 2017
A senior Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) delegation, including the World Rugby CEO, CFO and RWCL lead visited South Africa. The visit included a day-and-a-half of presentations in Cape Town and a tour of the National Stadium in Johannesburg.

• Bid submission: 1 June 2017
SA Rugby submitted South Africa’s bid to World Rugby in Dublin. The bid, which ran to more than 800 pages and 16 chapters addressed 300 questions. It included a comprehensive budget and a detailed match-venue file providing exhaustive information on each proposed venue.

• Signed government and match-venue guarantees and hosting agreement: 31 July 2017
Legal guarantees from National Government, all proposed match venues and the hosting agreement between SA Rugby and RWCL were submitted by the deadline.

• Bid presentation: 25 September 2017
The final stage of the candidate phase was a 30-minute presentation to World Rugby Council members, followed by a 20-minute Q&A.

France, Ireland and South Africa each presented their vision for the 2023 tournament and key aspects of the bid.

The Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Thulas Nxesi, and SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander, introduced the South African bid. SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, presented the technical detail and South Africa’s 10 differentiators. The Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, closed the presentation.

South Africa’s 10-point undertaking to World Rugby can be accessed by clicking here.

The 12-member presentation party included South Africa’s two Rugby World Cup winning captains, Francois Pienaar and John Smit as well as the Director General of Sports and Recreation South Africa, Mr Alec Moemi.

There were two videos in the presentation; one showcasing South Africa and its people’s passion for rugby, and the other our match venues. Visuals in these videos are courtesy of SuperSport, SA Rugby and SASCOC.

Why South Africa should be given the 2023 Rugby World Cup

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Ireland would be a magnificent host of the 2023 World Cup. Might be a bit of a Guinness blur but the craic would be grand, by Gregor Paul Sports writer for NZHerald

France, too, would make a fabulous job of it, using all of their Gallic charm, eccentricities and culinary delights to make it six weeks to remember.

Both would deliver a bucket-load of cash for World Rugby. Especially France, but the Irish bid has a surprising number of match tickets to sell as they are using a number of GAA grounds that have 40,000-plus seats.

World Rugby has the luxury of choice. Always a good thing. But it does of course have a third option, which is South Africa.

The Republic isn’t in great shape. The economy has gone to hell in a hand cart. The political scene is messy, right up to the top where President Jacob Zuma has had to survive a vote of no confidence.

The infrastructure is all there after hosting the 2010 Football World Cup, but while there are big stadiums and a big population, there’s no guarantee locals will go to games. Low wages and high prices are never a good mix.

Security is a rising concern, although whether South Africa is a greater risk than France is debatable, but still, there’s a perception perhaps that fans will need to take extra care which is never a great selling point.

And yet despite the volatility and lack of stability, perceived or real, South Africa is absolutely where the 2023 World Cup should be held.

Forget the economics, the politics, the sponsors, the time zones, the broadcast implications and whatever else the money men endless fret about.

Deciding a World Cup host shouldn’t be a cold, clinical exercise made on the back of a handful of grey men and women pouring over spreadsheets and giving their view on the numbers.

2023 RWC in SA would be profitable

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South Africa 2023 would be the most profitable to World Rugby in the tournament’s history, with South Africa’s Bid Book projecting a record 2.9 million tickets sold and the biggest ever World Cup final in stadium attendance, writes Mark Keohane for Sport24 

The most recent World Cup in England set a new standard commercially and in global viewing and tournament attendance numbers.

We (in South Africa) are able to produce the tournament at 50% of the cost of any of the European bids. If you look at price parity, we are one third of Europe. In other words, a tourist will be able to come to South Africa for three weeks for the equivalent cost of one week in Europe,’ said South African Rugby Union’s Chief Executive Jurie Roux.

South Africa, as a tourist destination, rates among the most enticing globally but the South African Bid places a premium on South Africans and the accessibility of South Africans to experience and enjoy the six week rugby festival. South Africa’s love for sport was showcased to the world during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

And for South African Rugby to replicate the success story of Soccer’s 2010 global spectacle ticket prices had to be inclusive of the general public and had to be affordable to the working class, as much as the Bid has identified the obvious Corporate South African investment in tickets sales.

The South African Government, in underwriting the tournament financial guarantees were convinced in the economic strength of the Bid adding R27billion to the South African economy and also that the tournament spoke to South Africans in being able to experience it.

The Springboks most recent Test match against Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth provided a taste of what to expect over a sustained period of six weeks should South Africa beat off the challenge of France and Ireland to host the 2023 World Cup.

The Port Elizabeth Test ticketing structure allowed for a match day stadium audience that was inclusive and not elitist. It spoke to the day to day South African as much as it did the biggest corporates.

Port Elizabeth, a week ago, commercially was a huge success story to the city of Port Elizabeth and also the South African Rugby Union.

South Africa’s Bid is very strong, technically, commercially and emotionally given South Africa’s standing within the rugby community over the last 100 years.

But make no mistake the French Bid is also very compelling, even if the bookmakers still favour Ireland.
Those Irish odds have narrowed decidedly since the South African government confirmed its support and committed the financial guarantee and the French government has publicly committed its support to the French Rugby Federation’s Bid.

South Africa’s biggest sell outside of the infra-structure legacy of FIFA 2010 is that it doesn’t have to sell the game of rugby to the South African rugby public; equally the South African sporting public. Soccer, in 2010, had a similar advantage, as was the case with the hugely successful hosting of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. There will be total rugby immersion for the duration of the tournament.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Dr Michael Goldman on the merits of South Africa bidding.
Goldman, Assistant Professor in the Sport Management Program at the University of San Francisco and Adjunct Faculty at Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs), said: ‘Absolutely it makes sense. We should absolutely do it. There will be zero expenditure on infrastructure. World Rugby is well-run.’

Goldman, consistent with the bookmakers, felt Ireland was South Africa’s biggest challenger.

The French would disagree, with French sports minister Laura Flessel telling the media that the in-principal award of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games to Paris may act as a springboard to help the country’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

‘This (Olympic) bid is the crown piece in France’s drive to establish itself as a home to major international sporting events,’ she said. ‘With its bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023, it is this same determination which France is set on showing. The State, with the French President leading the way, is strongly backing the French Rugby Federation, and is a staunch supporter to the #France2023 project.’

Bernard Laporte, president of the French Rugby Federation, also drew a parallel between the Olympics and World Cup.

But the converse is that the pending 2024 Paris Olympics could detract from Rugby World Cup 2023 in that it is also viewed as secondary to the Olympics, in terms of preparation, focus and sporting appetite.

South Africa have a winning bid for WC2023

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 SA Rugby has delivered what is believes is a winning bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup at World Rugby headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby and His Excellency Mr Ahlangene Cyprian Sigcau, the South African Ambassador to Ireland, handed in the 827-page, 8.2kg document, detailing the country’s case to host the tournament.

It took 24 months of planning but Roux believes their bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup is more comprehensive than the competition after delivery their final bid documents ahead of their deadline on Wednesday.

SA Rugby hope that the combination of infrastructure, economy and the climate of the nation make it the ideal location for travelling rugby fans.

Working in the country’s is favour is a proven track record of staging world class events. Alongside England, South Africa is the only nation to host the rugby, cricket and soccer World Cup tournaments.

“South Africa has the hunger and capacity to host this tournament like no other country on earth. We bid for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 tournaments and here we are again for 2023, proving that for our sport and country this is not just a desire it is an obsession.

“But our bid is far from being just about what it means to rugby in South Africa; it is all about what South Africa can do for world rugby.

“We believe we have submitted the strongest technical bid supported by world-class venues and outstanding training facilities in an ideal climate against a stunning African backdrop.

“Players will be able to perform in the ideal conditions of a dry and sunny South African spring, offering an unforgettable playing experience for players.

“We will maximise the commercial benefit for World Rugby with a low-cost, high-return event in a country that has the infrastructure and major event experience to turn on a colossal event.

“And fans and the rugby family will have the best experience of their lives, following rugby played in perfect conditions in one of the world’s leading tourist destinations where you can swim with great white sharks at breakfast, have lunch on a wine farm and dine under the stars at night at a bush camp – and all on the same day.”

Roux said that the combination of infrastructure, environment and climate would allow the sport to showcase the very best it has to offer, inspiring South Africa, Africa and the world.

He added that he believed that the commercial model contained in the bid would be hard to beat while 2.9m match tickets would be available. Unlike other mega-sporting events, South Africa would profit from hosting the tournament.

“The building blocks are already in place,” he said. “No infrastructure spend would be required and the economic impact study we have commissioned from Grant Thornton has a good news story to tell South Africa.

“We predict that hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 would have a R27bn direct, indirect and induced economic impact on South Africa; R5.7bn would flow to low income households; 38 600 temporary or permanent jobs would be sustained and there’d be an estimated R1.4bn tax benefit to government.

“South Africa’s track record of hosting premier global sporting events is unparalleled and, along with England, we are one of only two countries to have successfully hosted the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup.

“Travelling supporters were safe and secure for all three events and took away memories of incredible times in a country that many regard as the ultimate destination for a rugby tour.

“We believe that Rugby World Cup 2023 in South Africa would deliver an event with a passion and nationwide excitement to match the 1995 tournament – 28 years on.“

Ireland and France are also bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby is set to announce the successful applicant on 15 November.