RWC 2023:


The Ireland 2023 Bid Team, which developed and submitted Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, has vowed to compete to the final minute in its quest to secure the Rugby World Cup for Ireland in 2023. This follows the announcement today, from the Board of Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) that South Africa has received the initial recommendation to host the tournament, based on the results of the scoring system employed.


On Wednesday 15 November in London, World Rugby Council decides which candidate will host Rugby World Cup 2023. Three candidates remain, namely France, Ireland and South Africa. None of the applicants will be able to vote during the process.  


There are 39 votes left to be won, split up as follows:

  • The remaining Six Nations unions and SANZAAR unions have three votes each
  • The six regional associations (Oceania Rugby, Sudamerica Rugby, Rugby Americas North, Rugby Europe, Rugby Africa and Asia Rugby) and the Japan Rugby Football Union have two votes each
  • The remaining four votes belong to Georgian Rugby Union, Rugby Canada, USA Rugby and Federatia Romana de Rugby. 


On October 31st, the RWC 2023 Bid Evaluation Report was released to host candidates, World Rugby Council and the media. The evaluation was carried out by a significant team of internal and external functional area experts, against weighted criteria that reflect World Rugby’s key objectives. 


The host candidate which achieves the highest score will be recommended by the Rugby World Cup Board as RWC 2023 host. Independent consultant The Sports Consultancy has scrutinised every aspect of the evaluation to ensure all candidates have been treated fairly and that the agreed criteria have been consistently applied. 


Ireland’s bid, led by The Irish Rugby Football Union with the full support of the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, scored highly across all areas.


The weighted criteria categories agreed by RWCL Board and Council and communicated to host candidates are based on World Rugby’s 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 the Rugby World Cup’s global stakeholders
  • An environment and climate suited to top-level sport in a geography that allows maximum fan mobility


As part of this transparent and independently audited process, World Rugby announced the recommendation and also made public the full content of the technical review group’s report via media release. 


On 15 November, the members of World Rugby Council will cast their votes. The entire process is being overseen by independent auditors and will be streamed live via World Rugby.


Commenting on the announcement Dick Spring, Chairman, Ireland 2023 Bid Oversight Board, said:

“While It is disappointing not to have received the initial recommendation from Rugby World Cup Board Limited, there is nothing in the report which is insurmountable and this is certainly not the end of the road. We absolutely believe Ireland can secure the tournament for 2023.


On a first reading of the report, It is clear that the Evaluation Commission is impressed by the quality and detail of the bid put forward on behalf of Ireland. It is also clear from the report that Ireland has all the capabilities to host an outstanding Rugby World Cup in 2023 stating as it does …’any of the three candidates could host a successful Rugby World Cup’.


Ultimately, the decision rests with the Council Members of World Rugby, who are elected by Rugby Unions from across the globe. These are individuals and unions who have reacted positively to our message and vision for the tournament, as we criss-crossed the globe over the past two years. We will again, in the coming weeks, renew our vision to the Council Members – A commercially successful rugby tournament based on rugby’s values of integrity and camaraderie, played in full stadia in the hearts of towns and cities.


Ireland’s proposition in this regard is compelling, and so our team will compete to the final whistle as we bid to turn our historic bid plans into reality. We still have confidence that the Council members, who vote on November 15th, will place their trust in Ireland to deliver an outstanding 2023 Rugby World Cup.”  

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