South Africa expected to be named World Cup 2023 host

South Africa will expect to win the right to host Rugby World Cup 2023 once and for all in London today.

Ireland and France have refused to give up the fight for host status for the 2023 global competition, but both are likely to wind up disappointed by the final vote.

South Africa was named as the 2023 preferred host nation by World Rugby’s independent review, but that only sparked spiky reactions over that process from Ireland and France.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt remains convinced his side’s record 30-3 thumping of the Springboks in Dublin on Saturday could swing the vote of World Rugby’s member nations today, but that appears to be a long-shot.

Jurie Roux hands over South Africa's bid to World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper and Rugby World Cup chief Alan Gilpin. Picture: Getty Images

“This could really put the Irish Rugby Football Union [IRFU] in the shop window when people are voting on Wednesday,” Schmidt said in the wake of Ireland’s fine victory over South Africa.

Schmidt’s position and the IRFU’s fight to overturn South Africa’s advantage has run as far as chief executive Philip Browne writing a letter to World Rugby to challenge the independent process behind the preferred bidder recommendation.

World Rugby publicly acknowledged receipt of that behind-the-scenes letter on Friday, in order to consider the matter closed.

“World Rugby can confirm that it has addressed in full, clarification requests by the Rugby World Cup 2023 host candidates and council members,” read World Rugby’s statement.

Jurie Roux hands over South Africa's bid to World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper and Rugby World Cup chief Alan Gilpin. Picture: Getty Images