With the South African rugby fraternity wallowing in grief after the Springboks were handed another record defeat at the weekend, they will join local sports fans across the country tomorrow afternoon in the hope that World Rugby will rubber stamp the nation’s approval.
The global body is expected to announce the host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup after a meeting in London at about 2.30pm tomorrow, and while South Africa was placed in the driving seat after being recommended by a bid evaluation committee last month, the final decision rested with the World Rugby Council.
All three candidates would appear on the ballot paper, but World Rugby had urged its members to consider the recommendation of the evaluation committee after South Africa was revealed as the preferred candidate over France and Ireland, following an assessment of the bids.
There were 39 votes at stake at the council meeting, with a majority required to determine the host nation. The decision rested largely with the giants of international rugby as Australia, England, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, Italy and Argentina received three votes each.
The three candidate nations would not have a vote. After failing in their last three attempts to win the World Cup bid, South African stakeholders were eager to reignite the spirit of the 1995 spectacle held on home soil, which was won by the Springboks.
Meeting the requirement of at least eight world-class venues, SA Rugby said government would not need to invest in any further infrastructure should they get the nod to organise the tournament for the second time.
A forecast predicted the 10th edition of the quadrennial tournament would have a R27 billion economic impact for the country and would provide over 38 000 jobs, with an estimated R1.4 billion direct tax benefit to government.