RWC its now or never


Frank Quinn takes us through the in's and out's of Irelands 2023 RWC bid.

South Africa are firm favourites to host the 2023 RWC, following up on the technical group review of the three candidates - South Africa, France Ireland - this is order in which the review finished.

South Africa were clear winners (From 100%) 78.97%, France 75.88%, and Ireland 72.25%
After all this examination of the technicalities - with, it seems makes no reference to the fact that it is six years out and plenty of time to fix up deficiencies in any areas, this review group has made its pronouncements.

Good for them. We have all heard the stories from the Olympics games of the paint not being dry on a new stadium on the opening day of the Games.

Three of the proposed GAA venues were flagged as a risk with the amount of work needed to them to bring up to RWC standard. That will be disappointing for the GAA, who wholeheartedly backed the bid. On the financial front we offered the lowest tournament fee and South Africa offered the highest, so money does talk.

Technical group or not - we have been passed fit as an island to hold a tournament of the magnitude of the RWC, which in itself is reassuring for the Ireland bid committee

As World Rugby set up the Technical Committee, it is assumed that the voting at the World Rugby meeting will follow suit. Wait and see!

But the reality is that the real vote takes place on the 15th November 2017- in a secret ballot at World Rugby to decide who the winner is for 2023. This is an explosive situation in the political world of rugby. It is akin to all other decisions by the Olympics, FIFA, European championships etc in relation to their high profile events.

It will come down to favours - who owes who and what from the last vote in 2009 for the RWC 2015/2019 combined voting. The voters for England and Japan will expect a reciprocal arrangement for 2023. South Africa were the runners up for both editions

The World Rugby Voting:

The nine top tier countries have 3 votes each, (Ex bidding countries)
(South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, France Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Italy)

Argentina has 2 votes and six other area regions have 2 votes each

5 other countries have 1 vote each

The total is 46 votes, - From individual countries (Rugby Unions)

For a straight win - 24 votes are needed, or the third placed country is eliminated, before a final vote takes place in a two horse race, in a secret ballot

If I include Argentina, the top ten countries hold the key with 29 votes, but the other minnows will have a part to play in the final shake up.

Ireland is promising to fight the good fight to the finish and we have not thrown in the towel - if we had come a good second in the technical aspects we might be more optimistic. But we still need to canvas, however late, the top tier countries for votes

The recent hosts this century of the RWC’s were:
2003 Australia,
2007 France,
2011 New Zealand,
2015 England,
2019 Japan,

The Southern Hemisphere “own” the RWC, having won 7 out of 8 editions, so without any more research you can see that the South want to have the RWC back in their territory in 2023.

Then the assumption/rumour is that the USA will be strong bidders for 2027 (Spread the Rugby Gospel!) and the “natural order of rotation” will kick back in - in 2031 and it will return to the Southern hemisphere.

You will notice that I have not included Ireland or France in the 2027 bidding, which would be the natural order of events as runners up for 2023; - I think it may have passed them by.