Cape Town - A South African Rugby World Cup in 2023 would be an
unbeatable triple-win, the World Rugby Council was told in London on Monday,
when SA Rugby made their case to host the 10th Rugby World Cup tournament.
A South African Rugby World Cup would be a win for the
sport, a win for supporters and most importantly a win for the players,
delegates were told in a 50-minute presentation led by the Deputy President of
South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and including the Minister of Sport and
Recreation, Thulas Nxesi.
“South Africa ticks every single box of the financial,
commercial and logistical requirements of the host, but we go way beyond the
minimum requirements to set us apart as a candidate,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of
“We were asked to provide a minimum guarantee of £120m but
with unqualified support from our government we are offering an extra £40m.
“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.
“Our stadia allow us to place more tickets on sale than ever
before; a South African Rugby World Cup would make available 2.9m seats –
400 000 more than the highly successful England 2015 tournament.
“But, most importantly,” said Roux, “this will be the most
player-centric tournament ever; it will be unprecedented in comfort,
convenience and support.
“Player performance will be optimal, given the ideal playing
conditions, world-class match venues and training facilities and a match
schedule with low travel impact – 85% of pool matches will be played in a
team’s home base; the longest trip to a training venue will be 17 minutes.”
Thirdly, the travelling fans would enjoy unique experiences
as well as the benefit of a favourable exchange rate.
“Iconic venues in iconic locations – whether it be on the
fringes of the Kruger National Park, in the vibrant heart of the country in
Gauteng, or in the Mother City of Cape Town – South Africa will offer visitors
an unrivalled experience in a country that will guarantee a tournament like no
other,” said Roux.
“Visitors can enjoy breakfast with great white sharks; have
lunch in the vineyards and take dinner on a game drive – all in the same day.”
Deputy President, Cyril
Ramaphosa, spoke to the World Rugby Council of the power of rugby to unite
peoples: “In 1995, the Rugby World Cup cemented the bonds between our diverse
people,” he said.
“In 2023, we hope to use the Rugby World Cup to inspire and
unite not only South Africans, but the global community of nations.
“In a world facing the threat of polarisation, intolerance
and indifference, South Africa is best poised to demonstrate that rugby can
break barriers, create hope and unite humanity.
“The people and government of South Africa are therefore
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 to make World Rugby proud by hosting an unforgettable
celebration of rugby that delivers on every single bid requirement.
“We don’t need to build new stadia or upgrade old ones; we
don’t need to find hotel rooms and you don’t need to worry about the
guarantees. We don’t need to pass new legislation. Every last detail of the
required specification is already in place.
“We have a deep and burning desire to host this tournament –
not just for South Africa but for rugby. We want to share our passion with the world
and provide the sport with a carnival that’s vibrantly African, which will
engulf our country, capture a continent and inspire the world.”
South Africa is bidding against Ireland and France for the
rights to host the tournament. Rugby World Cup Ltd will announce their
preferred candidate on 31 October. That recommendation will be put to a vote of
the World Rugby Council on 15 November.