The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Wednesday confirmed its interest in bidding for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, following the announcement of the tender process by World Rugby.
Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU, reaffirmed the union’s commitment to bring the tournament back to South Africa, on the proviso of the approval of SASCOC – SA’s national Olympic Committee – and support of national government.
“We definitely expect to be bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup – as we have for the past three tournaments,” said Roux.
“By the time the tournament comes round it will be 28 years since Nelson Mandela handed the trophy to Francois Pienaar and I believe that South Africa is hungry to once again host rugby’s greatest occasion.
“The 1995 Rugby World Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup were magnificent occasions for our nation and for the respective sports and the prospect of being able to repeat those unforgettable occasions is very exciting.
“Bidding will mean a lot of hard work and I am sure the competition will be fierce but this country has a unique experience to offer the game’s travelling supporters.”
World Rugby announced the key dates for bidding would be:
May 14, 2015 – Window opens for unions to submit Expressions of Interest
June 15, 2015 – Expression of Interest period ends
May 2016 – Tender documentation released
June 2016 – Deadline for confirmation of intention to tender
May 2017 – Announcement of 2023 Rugby World Cup host
"Rugby World Cup is one of the world’s most recognisable and popular major sports events," said World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"With a six-week global shop window, upwards of 500,000 international visitors, multiple sporting, social and tourism benefits, economic benefits of up to £2 billion (R36bn) and minimal infrastructure overlay, it is also an attractive event for potential hosts.
"Today’s announcement is great news for Rugby World Cup and for our member unions. The host selection process gives unions a clear timetable to consult with relevant stakeholders, including national and regional government, deliver feasibility studies and hone their bids to host an event that truly delivers the platform to promote and grow rugby around the world.”