Candidate unions submit RWC 2023 bid files as hosting race ramps-up

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The race to host Rugby World Cup 2023 marked a major milestone on 1 June with all three candidate unions submitting their bid files to World Rugby in Dublin.

France, Ireland and South Africa uploaded their detailed bids to a dedicated and secure portal by the required deadline of 17:00 BST on 1 June. All bids were also delivered in person.

Within their submissions, the candidates were required to outline their vision and mission for hosting rugby’s global showcase event.

This included confirmation of guarantees from governments and other appropriately empowered entities, the hosting agreement and detailed responses to core hosting requirements in line with World Rugby’s seven hosting objectives:

  • Venues and infrastructure commensurate with a top-tier major event
  • Comprehensive and enforceable public and private sector guarantees
  • A commercially successful event with a fully funded, robust financial model
  • Operational excellence through an integrated and experienced delivery team
  • A vision that engages and inspires domestic and international audiences and contributes to the growth of rugby at all levels
  • An enabling environment of political and financial stability that respects the diversity of Rugby World Cup’s global stakeholders
  • An environment and climate suited to top-level sport in a geography that allows maximum fan mobility

To ensure fairness and transparency, independent assessors, The Sports Consultancy, oversaw compliance to the submissions process with World Rugby unable to access the submissions until after the deadline.

In line with World Rugby’s robust selection procedure, all bids will now be reviewed in detail by the specialist technical review group, evaluated against weighted criteria and will feature independent economic, financial and commercial assessment by Dow Jones Sports Intelligence and other expert advisors.

The Sports Consultancy will independently assess the group’s application of the evaluation criteria to ensure a fair and consistent approach to the decision-making process.

Each candidate will have the opportunity to present their bid to the Council on 25 September. The Rugby World Cup Board will then make its host recommendation on 31 October. The Rugby World Cup 2023 host will be selected on 15 November, when the World Rugby Council will vote on all three bids while taking the recommendation into consideration.

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 have continually expressed their commitment throughout this process to hosting a fantastic tournament if selected.

“With the support of their respective governments, each candidate has worked hard to develop and shape their final submission documents as they 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 and significant benefits for host nations.

“The submissions mark the transition to a new evaluation phase in the host selection process. This is an important part of the process that involves detailed independent commercial and financial analysis and oversight on the evaluation itself. The process will culminate with the World Rugby Council selecting the Rugby World Cup 2023 host on 15 November.”

Editors’ notes:
For the RWC 2023 host selection process, World Rugby made a number of changes to previous processes to further promote transparency, good governance and best practice.

The revised process, approved by the World Rugby Council in 2015, provides a robust and open way of evaluating and appointing future tournament hosts, and which satisfies the requirement for even higher standards of procedural consistency. Key changes include the introduction of published evaluation objectives that are being used to assess applicants and candidates at each stage.

  • The implementation of a two-phase process that enables the early identification of unviable proposals or issues that bidders will need to mitigate in order to meet the required criteria
  • The addition of formal candidate visits, conducted by a technical review group to reiterate all expectations regarding guarantees and requirements
  • Fully independent evaluation and analysis within both the applicant and candidate review phases, including independent assessment of the technical review group’s evaluation by The Sports Consultancy

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