Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett believes South Africa has all the necessities to host an ‘incredible’ World Cup.
On Wednesday, World Rugby’s council members will vote on which country will host the 2023 tournament, with South Africa having already been named as the preferred candidate following an extensive evaluation report.
Although France and Ireland have been involved in intensive lobbying in attempts to win over last-minute votes since then, South Africa remain strong favourites to win the bid.
‘I think South Africans should all be celebrating the fact that we have come out on top of the initial selection process,’ Mallett said on SuperSport.com.
‘We’re hoping like anything that all the other unions that vote, will take cognisance of the fact that an independent objective selection process put us out ahead of Ireland and France.
‘That’s the first thing, but secondly from a South African perspective we’ve done big tournaments like this very well. We’ve hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and obviously we did a magnificent 1995 tournament that was a very special event.
‘We have the [British & Irish] Lions coming out in 2021 and we will have the World Cup in 2023. Those are also a fantastic couple of occasions to look forward to. As a country, we are excellently positioned to produce an incredible World Cup in 2023. We have so many advantages.’
Mallett reiterated that South Africa had so much to offer.
‘First of all, the rand is generally weak against other currencies. For people coming to tour here it is a fantastic holiday. We have some of the most unbelievable places to visit, apart from rugby fields.
‘We have beautiful beaches, beautiful mountains and beautiful game parks and I think the country warms to tourists when they come out here …
‘I think that every touring side in history has always said it is one of the greatest tours you can go on – to South Africa. The people are just incredibly warm and welcoming.’