Ireland disappointed with Wales & Scotland after France wins 2023 World Cup vote

Ireland's bid team faced the media after they were eliminated in the first round of voting

Wales and Scotland backing rival World Cup 2023 bids to that of Ireland is "very disappointing", says Irish Rugby Football Union chief Philip Browne.

Ireland were eliminated in the first round of World Rugby's voting process on Wednesday with eight of 39 votes.

While England's Rugby Football Union backed Ireland's bid, Wales supported South Africa and Scotland backed eventual winners France.

"We were very disappointed, very disappointed indeed," said Browne.

He said he had been told Scotland were convinced by the greater revenue France could generate, while Wales felt they must follow the recommendation of an independent review that South Africa would be the best host.

Rugby World Cup 2023 voting process
France South Africa Ireland
Three votes each: Australia, England, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Argentina; Two votes each: Japan, Asia Rugby, Oceania Rugby, Rugby Africa, Rugby Americas North, Rugby Europe, Sudamerica Rugby; One vote each: Canada, Georgia, Romania, United States
Round one 18 13 8
Round two 24 15 Eliminated

"Scotland were consistent in that they said they were going to support the bid that produced the greatest amount of money," added Davies.

"[Welsh Rugby Union chairman] Gareth Davies was part of the evaluation process and they felt duty and honour bound to support Gareth."

The On Events has contacted the Scottish and Welsh Rugby Unions for comment on how they voted.

Ireland were the early favourites to host the tournament for the first time, but were ranked third of the three bids by an independent review a fortnight ago.

Browne wrote to World Rugby at the time outlining his concerns about the evaluation process and says the report delivered a body blow to Ireland's chances.

"The report holed us below the waterline, it was always going to be very difficult to come back from that," he said.

"There were elements of the report that were not done to the level that we would have liked.

"World Rugby needs to make a decision about what kind of World Cup it wants.

"If it is all about money and shiny new stadia, then obviously there is no room for Ireland."

Beaumont defends World Rugby process

Bill Beaumont and Bernard Laporte
French federation president Bernard Laporte (here on the right shaking hands with Bill Beaumont) described the evaluation report as "incompetence"

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont insisted there was nothing embarrassing about the organisation's council members voting against the recommendation of the report.

"I think the opposite," said the former England captain.

"The World Rugby Council wanted a recommendation, but they chose to choose another country.

"If you look at the first page of the report it says that any of these countries is well capable of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"We will evaluate the process, debrief and make any changes going forward. I think it was a very fair process and a transparent process. Countries will have disagreed with the scoring and that is obvious. You can't blame them for that."

This was the first time World Rugby had published an evaluation of candidates in a World Cup hosting race.

Jurie Roux, chief executive of South Africa Rugby, said that although his organisation would not challenge the decision, it would recommend that the evaluation report would become binding.


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