SA Rugby has officially submitted its bid to host the 2023 World Cup.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux and the South African ambassador to Ireland, Ahlangene Cyprian Sigcau, handed in the 827-page document – weighing 8.2kg – at World Rugby's headquarters in Dublin.
South Africa is competing with Ireland and France for the right to host the tournament.
'We believe we have submitted the strongest technical bid supported by world-class venues and outstanding training facilities in an ideal climate against a stunning African backdrop,' said Roux.
'South Africa has the hunger and capacity to host this tournament like no other country on earth. We bid for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 tournaments and here we are again for 2023, proving that for our sport and country this is not just a desire it is an obsession.'
Roux said SA Rugby's commercial model contained in the proposal would be hard to beat and that an estimated 2.9-million match tickets would be available for purchase.
'This is a momentous day for South African rugby and in November, when the decision is made, we hope it will ignite the beginning of a six-year journey to a climatic conclusion at the National Stadium in Johannesburg in front of 83,000 spectators in the biggest and most spectacular World Cup final there has ever been.
'We will maximise the commercial benefit for World Rugby with a low-cost, high-return event in a country that has the infrastructure and major event experience to turn on a colossal event.
'Travelling supporters were safe and secure for all three events and took away memories of incredible times in a country that many regard as the ultimate destination for a rugby tour. We believe that Rugby World Cup 2023 in South Africa would deliver an event with a passion and nationwide excitement to match the 1995 tournament – 28 years on.'
Roux further explained that the combination of infrastructure, environment and climate would allow the sport to showcase the very best it has to offer, inspiring South Africa, Africa and the world.
'South Africa’s track record of hosting premier global sporting events is unparalleled and, along with England, we are one of only two countries to have successfully hosted the Fifa World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup.
'And fans and the rugby family will have the best experience of their lives, following rugby played in perfect conditions in one of the world’s leading tourist destinations where you can swim with great white sharks at breakfast, have lunch on a wine farm and dine under the stars at night at a bush camp – and all on the same day.'
Photo: Anne Laing/HM Images