World Rugby has confirmed France, Ireland and South Africa as Rugby World Cup 2023 host candidates.
Each union demonstrated within its application that it could meet the key criteria critical to a viable Rugby World Cup hosting bid by the 1 September deadline.
Italy formally withdrew from the process last week after the union confirmed it could not guarantee government support with its bid being linked to Rome 2024.
The applicant phase evaluation focused on key criteria such as finance, venues, tournament window and government support in line with World Rugby’s seven hosting objectives:
- Venues and infrastructure commensurate with a top-tier major event
- Comprehensive and enforceable public and private sector guarantees
- A commercially successful event with a fully-funded, robust financial model
- Operational excellence through an integrated and experienced delivery team
- A vision that engages and inspires domestic and international audiences and contributes to the growth of rugby at all levels
- An enabling environment of political and financial stability that respects the diversity of Rugby World Cup’s global stakeholders
- An environment and climate suited to top-level sport in a geography that allows maximum fan mobility
Each application was reviewed in detail by a specialist technical review group and independently assessed to ensure a fair and consistent approach to the evaluation process.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We are delighted by the strong level of serious interest from unions and governments, which is clearly reflected in three strong and impressive applications.
“I would like to congratulate the unions for successfully progressing to candidate status and we welcome further dialogue with all parties as momentum builds towards the selection of the Rugby World Cup 2023 host.”
The application phase was the second stage of a detailed three-phase host selection process following an initial and education phase, designed to provide prospective bid unions and governments with all the information required to determine to proceed with a bid.
The candidate process officially opens on 1 November and the Rugby World Cup 2023 host union will be selected by the World Rugby Council in November 2017.