CAPE TOWN, November 15 – The eyes of the rugby world will be firmly focussed on World Rugby president Bill Beaumont who will announce the name of the 2023 Rugby World Cup tournament host on Wednesday afternoon.
Beaumont will make the announcement at World Rugby’s General Assembly in London after the secret vote by World Rugby’s Council earlier in the day. Later on, Beaumont will go public with the naming of the host at a press conference around 3.30pm (SA time).
The secret ballot will be decided after votes from Australia (3 votes), England (3), New Zealand (3), Scotland (3), Wales (3), Italy (3), Argentina (3), Canada (1), Japan (2), Georgia (1), Romania (1), USA (1), Asia Rugby (2), Oceania Rugby (2), Rugby Africa (2), Rugby Americas North (2), Rugby Europe (2) and Sudamerica Rugby (2).
The three host candidates are South Africa, Ireland and France will not vote.
The South Africa is the front-runner to win the vote after the Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board recommended South Africa as the preferred host at the end of October. The Board released its evaluation report which ranked South Africa’s bid the highest with 78.9 percent, France second with 75.8 and Ireland third with 72.2.
Subsequently, Ireland and France have publicly criticised the evaluation report. Moreover, since World Rugby’s general assembly already convened on Monday there would have been a chance for the host candidates for direct contact and corridor lobbying with members who have a vote.
However, all jousting on the part of the bidders are now a thing of the past and they will be standing by anxiously while the voting process is underway.
South Africa seem to be assured at least nine votes from their Southern Hemisphere partners New Zealand, Australia and Argentina.
The winner needs a simple majority which means 20 votes out of 39. If that is not achieved the country with the lowest count will drop out, and voting goes into the second round. In the event of a tie, Beaumont has the casting vote.
– African News Agency (ANA)