The Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process reaches a new milestone this week with the first official World Rugby visit to a host candidate.
With candidates due to submit their detailed bid documents to World Rugby on 1 June, a technical review group will travel to South Africa (13-15 March), Ireland (21-22 March) and France (30-31 March) to meet with representatives of each bid and offer advice and support to assist the bidding process.
The visits will provide an opportunity for candidates to discuss bid plans in detail, clarify any questions on the technical aspects or bid process and allow World Rugby to meet with government representatives. World Rugby will also use the occasion to reiterate all expectations regarding guarantees and requirements to ensure a fair and transparent bidding process.
In line with World Rugby’s robust selection procedure, all bids will be reviewed in detail by a specialist technical review group and independently assessed to ensure a fair and consistent approach to the decision-making process.
The visits form an integral component of the new-look three-phase bidding process, facilitating an open dialogue and enhanced lines of communication between World Rugby and host candidates ahead of the final decision in November this year.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We have three very strong and passionate candidates vying for selection as host of Rugby World Cup 2023 – all of whom are capable of hosting a fantastic tournament.
“With the support of their respective governments, each candidate is working hard to develop their final submission documents ahead of the June deadline as they seek to bring to life their plans to stage tournaments that will not only be great for rugby but great for their nation. Rugby World Cup has demonstrated through past tournaments that it is a low investment, high-return proposition with proven benefits for host nations.
“The upcoming visits will provide us with an important opportunity to monitor progress leading into the final weeks of the bid phase and we look forward to discovering more details about the compelling concepts of France, Ireland and South Africa later this month.”
All three candidates were formally accepted by World Rugby following the application phase in October last year. The Rugby World Cup 2023 host union will be selected by the World Rugby Council on 15 November, 2017.