South Africa hosted the 1995 World Cup against an extraordinary emotional, social and political backdrop after the country had missed the first two tournaments due to the sporting ban over apartheid. However, World Rugby have been determined to produce a fairer and more transparent process, leading to a belief that the ballot should be a formality - in ratifying the auditors' recommendation.
The nation boasts a rich rugby heritage, having twice won the World Cup, and much of the necessary infrastructure is already in place following the 2010 FIFA World Cup - the first time fooball's biggest tournament had been staged on the continent.
South Africa said in its bid presentation that its World Cup would be a "triple win" for World Rugby, promising record gate receipts for matches, a tourist destination experience for fans, and a tournament focused on providing top-quality facilities for players to perform.
"This nomination is reward for an outstanding bid in which no detail was too small to be addressed or any question not comprehensively answered", said South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.More news: Texans Owner Called Protesters 'Inmates' - Now Look What They Did In Retaliation
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All three competing bids have been forensically reviewed by World Rugby's Technical Review Group and have in turn been scrutinised by independent body The Sports Consultancy. "We are 100% confident that the commitments we made in our document will be delivered". South Africa scored 78.97 percent, France 75.88, and Ireland 72.25.
"While it is disappointing not to have received the initial recommendation there is nothing in the report which is insurmountable and this is certainly not the end of the road", said Spring. However, the sight of then-president Nelson Mandela handing the Webb Ellis Cup to the Springboks' captain, Francois Pienaar, following the final victory over New Zealand has remained one of the most iconic images in world sport, and after putting forward a fresh bid to host the tournament in six years' time, they look to have stolen a march over the French and Irish bids.
"We didn't think we'd been behind South Africa in terms of organizing competitions".
The council members who will vote on the host are free to ignore today's endorsement with the result being announced on November 15th.
Japan is the 2019 World Cup host.