South Africa has been recommended to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup ahead of Ireland and France, the tournament’s organising board has announced.
The World Rugby Council will now meet on 15 November in London to vote on the next host.
The board made its recommendation following detailed consideration of the host candidate evaluation report.
Ireland has vowed to “compete to the final whistle”, adding “nothing in the report is insurmountable”.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said there were “three exceptional bids”.
He added: “It also identified South Africa as a clear leader based on performance against the key criteria, which is supported by the board in the recommendation.”
South Africa said it would deliver a “triple win” should it host the tournament in 2023.
The country’s rugby chief executive, Jurie Roux, said, “A win for the game with record receipts, a win for the fans with an unforgettable tournament in a bucket-list destination and, most importantly, a win for the players with the most athlete-centric event in the tournament’s history,”
Japan will host the next World Cup in 2019.