Cape Town - Past and present All Blacks are in favour of South Africa hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
This follows Tuesday’s announcement from the board of Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) that South Africa received the initial recommendation to host the tournament, based on the results of the scoring system employed.
South Africa scored 78.97%, while France's bid came second (75.88%) and Ireland’s third (72.25%).
The recommendation will now be put to the vote of the World Rugby Council in London on November 15.
All three candidates will appear on the ballot paper but World Rugby has stressed to its members that recommendation of the evaluation committee should be taken into consideration.
Former All Black wing Jeff Wilson, who played against the Springboks in the 1995 final at Ellis Park, said another World Cup in South Africa would be special for a passionate rugby country.
"It's great for South Africa - 1995 was an outstanding tournament, the first as we were going into professional rugby, and as a player at that it was something special," Wilson was quoted as saying on the Stuff.co.nz website.
"They're a passionate rugby country, they've got the stadiums on the back of the football World Cup, so they're going to be played in the right places. For a country that needs a boost in some shape or form of rugby this is ideal for them.”
All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster and flank Jerome Kaino - who are in London preparing for a match against the Barbarians - also threw their support behind SA's bid.
"In a lot of ways it seems common sense from our side of it," Foster said. "They're a massive historical part of the world rugby scene and have only had one World Cup, so from that side it's great. And maybe they can get rid of some of those old stadiums and move to some of their new ones.”
Kaino added: "It's a great place to tour and I'm sure they're more than capable of holding a successful World Cup. It will be great for their country as well."