South Africa had emerged as clearly ahead in all seven key criteria such as stadia and financial assurances, but French rugby boss Bernard Laporte will be delighted that France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup!

The announcement was made by World Rugby in London on Wednesday.

France won the overall vote ahead of fellow bidding countries Ireland and South Africa.

Those eligible to vote in the secret ballot on Wednesday were: Australia (3 votes), England (3), New Zealand (3), Scotland (3), Wales (3), Italy (3), Argentina (3), Canada (1), Japan (2), Georgia (1), Romania (1), USA (1), Asia Rugby (2), Oceania Rugby (2), RugbyAfrica (2), Rugby Americas North (2), Rugby Europe (2), Sudamerica Rugby (2).

Despite South Africa being recommended by an independent World Rugby committee as the preferred bidder in their report, the final decision all came down to 26 World Rugby Council members who collectively exercise 39 votes and among whom a simple majority is required to secure the hosting rights. 

The three bidding countries did not vote on Wednesday.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said the voting was as follows:

First round voting:  France  18,  Ireland  8, South Africa 13

Second round voting: France 24, South Africa 15

France last hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2007, when the Springboks won their second title, while South Africa won it at the first time of asking on home soil in 1995.

IOL Sport