Ireland's hopes of hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023 have been dashed this morning as the World Rugby World Cup Limited Board unanimously voted for South Africa as it's preferred candidate for Rugby World Cup 2023 host.
The board's choice of either Ireland, France or South Africa took into consideration a number of criteria including finance, infrastructure and stadia.
Ireland scored the lowest of the three with a comparative score of 72.25%.
The final decision will be made on November 15th by a secret ballot of World Rugby Council members, with chances of them going against the board's recommendation extremely slim.
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.”
Read the full evaluation report here.