France to stage Rugby World Cup

France have won the right to stage the 2023 Rugby World Cup, it was announced yesterday, despite finishing behind rival bidders South Africa in an evaluation report.

The report, widely criticised by both France and Ireland, the third bidding country, was not binding for the remaining members of the World Rugby Council, who voted in London.

This means France will be staging a World Cup for the second time, having hosted it in 2007.

The tournament comes a year before it hosts the 2024 Olympics.

Last month, World Rugby published an evaluation report which said South Africa should be chosen given it had an overall rating of 78.97, compared with 75.88 for France and 72.25 for Ireland, across a range of criteria.

French Rugby Union Federation head Bernard Laporte said: "We like fighting and we like winning. This time we were lucky." - AFP