South African rugby chief hopes ‘sanity will prevail’ in 2023 RWC vote

South African Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux hopes “sanity will prevail” in the vote to decide the hosts of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

South Africa topped the review undertaken by an independent technical committee ahead of France and Ireland.

But officials from the latter two nations have questioned the outcome of the evaluation and have vowed to fight for support ahead of the final World Rugby Council vote on November 15 in London. Roux has urged World Rugby Council members to show integrity and vote in accordance with the technical committee’s recommendations.

“We still have a vote to come on the 15th of November, different people have different opinions but they have a fiduciary responsibility at that meeting to act accordingly,” Roux told the South African Sunday Times.

“We hope that sanity will prevail because an independent process is there for a very specific reason — to keep it independent.

“It would now be very difficult for any federation to go against this independent outcome because it would laugh in the face of transparency and process.”

He continued: “It’s clear that at this stage there is no lobbying allowed. We all submitted our bids and had our opportunity to present them to the World Rugby Council. You are allowed to make public statements. You are also allowed to evaluate the report and make statements based on those evaluations.

“We have maintained the moral high ground throughout this process by not going to individual unions but rather presented to councils and through collective bargaining processes where all the other unions were involved.

“For each and every statement other unions are making‚ we could probably deliver a similar statement but we won’t go there. We believe our bid was the best and that belief was vindicated by an independent technical committee.”


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