SA Rugby has hope for 2023 bid

SA Rugby hopes its right to bid for the 2023 World Cup will be reinstated before the end of 2017.

In releasing the Eminent Persons Group report on sport transformation on Monday, sports minister Fikile Mbalula revoked SA Rugby's right to host and bid for international tournaments after failing to meet its agreed transformation targets.

In response, SA Rugby said that it acknowledged the findings and sanction, but confirmed that the minister’s announcement did not relate to existing international events such as Super Rugby, the Springboks’ incoming Test series or Rugby Championship programme. It will also not affect the Cape Town Sevens.

However, Roux said it would be a priority to now look at the implications for their 2023 World Cup bid. The bidding process is due to start next month, but will not conclude until next year, by which time SA Rugby hopes to have had the right to host reinstated.

‘We understand and support the minister’s urgency in addressing the issue of transformation,’ Roux commented. ‘There is no question that we have more work to do and we could be moving faster, but our sport has undergone a major overhaul in how we do business and how we measure ourselves in the past two or three years and we have definitely made great progress.

‘Transformation is a key strategic imperative for SA Rugby to remain competitive and to survive in the sports landscape in our country. Our barometer for 2015 shows that we have achieved our target in 11 out of 13 dimensions as agreed with government.

‘We have made further progress on and off the field in 2016 to date and over the coming months our commitment to transformation will become even more evident. We are confident that the suspension will be lifted at the next reporting of the EPG.’

Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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