Cape Town - South Africa’s bid team told World Rugby’s leaders the country was
ready to deliver the Rugby World Cup tomorrow because of the existing
infrastructure, the host cities, the government support, and because of the
people’s love for rugby in this country.
SA Rugby President Mark Alexander said the tournament in South
Africa in 2023 would be an unforgettable celebration of the game. He described
South Africa as a ‘safe pair of hands’. He guaranteed that there would be no
dropping of the ball in urging the World Rugby General Council members to vote
for South Africa.
‘We ask you to pass us the ball for 2023 because we are ready. Our
nation has done big events many times before and our stadia, audience and
climate provide a unbeatable showcase. We don’t need to build new stadia’s or
upgrade old ones’ we don’t need to find hotel rooms or worry about the
guarantees. We don’t need to pass new legislation. Every last detail of the
required specification is already in place,’ said Alexander. ‘We have a deep
and burning desire to host this tournament and we want to share our passion
with the world and showcase the sport with a carnival that’s vibrantly African,
which will engulf our country, capture a continent and inspire the world.’
South African Rugby Union Chief Executive and bid team leader
Jurie Roux detailed South Africa’s existing infrastructure and super stadia as
among the country’s many bid advantages.
‘Our stadia allow us to place more tickets on sale than ever
before; a South African Rugby World Cup would make available 2.9 million seats -
400 000 more than the highly successful England 2015 tournament.
‘We were asked to provide eight venues, the smallest of which must
have a minimum capacity of 15 000, but we offer eight venues - purpose built
for rugby and requiring no upgrading - with the smallest one offering a fully
seated capacity of 43 500.
‘And we will host the largest-ever Rugby World Cup final with
87 436 fans at the National Stadium in Johannesburg.
‘Most importantly this will be the most player-centric tournament
ever; it will be unprecedented in comfort, convenience and support.
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in addressing
World Rugby’s Council recently in London, reaffirmed the government’s absolute
commitment to making the tournament a spectacular success. He emphasised the
government’s commitment was borne out in a financial tournament guarantee of
£160 million, that was £40 million in excess of the required £120 million.
‘The people and government of South Africa are wholeheartedly
behind SA Rugby’s bid. We have proven we can deliver.'
Sports Minister, Thulas Nxesi, said: ‘South Africa’s bid is
simple. We promise a tournament that delivers on every single bid requirement. Every
last detail of the required specification is already in place.’
The World Rugby (bid) seven-priority objectives are:
and infrastructure commensurate with a top-tier major event
and enforceable public and private sector guarantees
commercially successful event with a fully funded, robust financial model
excellence through an integrated and experienced delivery team
vision that engages and inspires domestic and international audiences and
contributes to the growth of rugby at all levels
enabling environment of political and financial stability that respects the
diversity of Rugby’s World Cup’s global stakeholders
environment and climate suited to top-level sport in a geography that allows
maximum fan mobility
South Africa, as a country would also prosper commercially,
financially and in terms of job creation and global profile.
South Africa 2023 would have a R27 billion direct, indirect and induced
economic impact on South Africa; R5.7 billion would flow to low-income
households; 38 600 temporary or permanent jobs would be sustained and there
would be an estimated R1.4 billion tax benefit to the government.
The Board of Rugby World Cup Ltd, based on the evaluation process
from three independent companies, will in the last week of October issue a
recommendation to the World Rugby Council as to who should be the 2023 hosts.
World Rugby is expected to make public the recommendation on
October 31, but the recommendation isn’t automatically accepted and the Council
vote, on November 15, will determine whether South Africa, Ireland or France
will host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.