Trio drop impressive RWC 2023 bids
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: France, South Africa and Ireland have presented their visions and plans to the World Rugby Council in London.
Each country were each given 30 minutes to present their hosting proposition to Council members before fielding questions from them.
France raised a few eyebrows as they included New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu's sons - Dhyreille and Brayley - in their presentation on Monday.
France flank Sebastien Chabal explained to Itv.com that one of Lomu's sons is indeed born in France, which made the decision to include the siblings justifiable.
"Dhyreille was born in France, born in Marseille, when their daddy came over and played for Marseille," said Chabal.
"And as he told us earlier, quite simply, he's known as the Frenchie at home.
"And Jonah Lomu loves France, that's where they saw their daddy playing rugby. Today I speak in their name.
"They said they would love to come back in 2023 to experience the World Cup in the country where their father was so happy.
"I'll leave it up to them to decide which jersey they will wear, blue or black, but they are very proud of this dual nationality, this dual identity and that's why they're with us today,"
French rugby federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte hailed the Lomu boys' appearance, saying: "It is very moving to have them with us, very good of them to have come all the way from New Zealand,"
On the other hand, South African bidding committee led by South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa tapped into the country's rich hosting history.
Ramaphosa stated that the 1995 united a diverse South African nation and the 2023 edition have the capacity to do the same globally.
"In 1995, the Rugby World Cup cemented the bonds between our diverse people," Ramaphosa said, adding: "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,"
Meanwhile, Ireland, who have never been the main host, seemed to be more likely to end up hosting the prestigious event.
Their bidding team promised to deliver a 'Tournament Like No Other'.
"Ireland 2023 will truly be a "Tournament Like No Other” and central to this will be our focus on the players," Ireland Bid Ambassador Brian O'Driscoll said, adding: "We have put enormous time, energy and experience into looking at the demands a modern Rugby World Cup makes on players and teams.
"This starts with world-class facilities and services. Facilities that put the players front and centre, allowing every player the opportunity to perform to his absolute potential. This is the players' opportunity to shine and Ireland will ensure they can live their dream,"
All bids will be reviewed in detail by a specialist technical review group, evaluated against weighted criteria and will feature independent economic, financial and commercial assessment by expert advisors. The Sports Consultancy is independently assessing the group’s application of the evaluation criteria to ensure a fair and consistent approach to the decision-making process.
A recommendation will be made by the Rugby World Cup Board on October 31, before Council votes to select the host union for Rugby World Cup 2023 at its November 15 meeting.