France is toasting the announcement that it will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after being named the surprise victor of a secret World Rugby council ballot in London on Wednesday.
That is very much the case today, as the governing body have announced that France have had the successful bid.
The decision came following two weeks of rancour and recrimination from the Irish and French bid teams after the publication of World Rugby's independent evaluation report at the end of last month which recommended South Africa be nominated as hosts.
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Still eager to host the spectacle, France and Ireland had both launched campaigns in an effort to rope in support, insisting there were concerns with the committee's findings, which listed South Africa as outright favourites.
"The ability to submit clarification requests following the publication of the recommendation and comprehensive report on 31 October was agreed and permitted within the host selection process operated by World Rugby". New Zealand has already pledged its three votes to South Africa.
Sport pundits and fans alike had also predominantly tipped South Africa to host the world cup as our infrastructure and stadiums are in good condition, and previous global sporting events hosted in South Africa have proved successful.
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But the United Nations said most of the airport remained intact and that it would be able to receive aid shipments once they restart.
"In order for council to have appropriate time to consider all the materials, the window for dialogue is now closed".
World Rugby's technical review group had found South Africa's bid for the world cup to be the strongest.
Here are some of the responses that jumped out at us.
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That black mask, like, it just takes away your vision. "He'll find that and obviously he made huge plays late in the game again". The Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-102 on Tuesday to extend their winning run to 13 games on the bounce.
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