Four nations bid for 2023 World Cup

South Africa, France, Ireland and Italy have formally confirmed an expression of interest to host the 2023 World Cup.

A fifth country, the USA, which had expressed interest in lodging a bid, decided not to proceed.

South Africa last hosted the tournament in 1995 and France in 2007. Ireland hosted some games in 1999, while Italy have never hosted any.

Formal union confirmation is the latest phase in an extensive process that will culminate in the selection of the 2023 host in May 2017 and follows two days of detailed briefings and workshops in London in June, which provided an opportunity to establish relationships and understand the economic, tourism and rugby benefits that can be derived from hosting the World Cup along with key information on the process.

With England 2015 set to be a record financial and participation driver and Japan 2019 a game-changer in terms of unlocking an Asian market that is home to 60% of the world’s youth and has experienced a 33% increase in rugby participation in the last four years, World Rugby is currently undertaking a major review of the 2023 hosting model to drive further benefit to the host union, the host nation and the global game. All candidates will be obliged to adhere to a strict code of conduct.

Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt