South Africa will bid against Ireland to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Sports Minister Leo Varadkar, announced on Monday he was looking into the possibility of hosting the tournament in 10 years time.
But Oregan Hoskins, the President of the South African Rugby Union, has exclusively told The Irish Examiner his country will bid to host a tournament they last held in 1995.
And Hoskins is confident of success, claiming the infrastructure and stadia are already in place after the 2010 soccer World Cup.
Even at this early stage — bids do not have to be made until 2016 with a decision the following year — it is likely that Ireland and South Africa would be the two outstanding candidates to bid, although France have also shown an interest. The 2019 World Cup is to be held in Japan and it is thought the IRB (International Rugby Board) would look to take the tournament to an established rugby nation four years later, giving Ireland and South Africa further motivation after Hoskins made his plans clear.
“From a South African perspective there is great interest in terms of wanting to bid for that process in 2023,” Hoskins said.
“We have been trying to get the World Cup in South Africa a number of times (after failed bids for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 tournaments) so hopefully this time we will be lucky.
“From a staff point of view 2014 has been mentioned as the optimum time in terms of when the wheels will start turning to get that process off the ground. It will be interesting to see how many countries put up their hands.
“It is fantastic we have a healthy interest in it. It shows how important the product is as the Rugby World Cup is the third most commercially successful brand (after the Olympics and Football World Cup).
“We saw in 1995 the effect it had on society, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the World Cup in 2010 and attended a number of the games.
“It will be of huge benefit to any country that is given the 2023 World Cup.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved