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Ireland misses out on Rugby World Cup 2023
16 November 2017, 02:24 | Melanie Burgess
France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup
Now, to cap it all, the nation's best money-spinning opportunity to reverse the depressing trend has been lost after World Rugby overrode the recommendations of its own board which had evaluated South Africa's 2023 bid as the best.
"Maybe the only silver lining is that the last time the World Cup was held in France, we won it".
It replicates Japan being named at host of the 2019 tournament, before Tokyo stages the 2020 Olympics.
"Hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 will be a massive boost for our country as well as the game of rugby", said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux ahead of the announcement.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont described the selection process as the "most transparent and comprehensive" in the organisation's history.
"When you host the World Cup, you create an aspirational platform and a financial platform that creates enough revenue so you can further your development plans and maybe stem the outflow of the players".
"It was a bid for all of French rugby".
David Sterling, Head of Northern Ireland Civil Service: "I too would like to congratulate France and wish them well for a successful tournament in 2023".
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"We did dispute some aspects but I'm not saying that's why we won", he said.
Browne, who has been in his post since 1998 and been responsible for successfully guiding Irish rugby from the amateur era to the professional world, believes though the prize is still up for grabs. We would have had the same thing here.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt remains convinced his side's record 30-3 thumping of the Springboks in Dublin on Saturday could swing the vote of World Rugby's member nations today, but that appears to remain a long shot.
Former Ulster and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris added: "Having played in New Zealand in 2011, I've seen at first-hand how special an experience a World Cup can be".
"It's bitterly disappointing and quite surprising".
"We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed".
"We produced a compelling bid document that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Rugby World Cup board. That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week", he said.
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Nabil Dirar scored the opener in the 25th minute with an inswinging cross that went untouched through the box and entered the net. Juventus defender Medhi Benatia was on target as Morocco qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1998.
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However, the latest reports suggest that he is now being courted by two national teams who would largely benefit from his arrival. This is the first time since the 1958 edition held in Sweden that Italy have failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup .