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Volume 10 No. 22
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Ireland, France, South Africa Make Pitches To Host 10th Edition Of Rugby World Cup

Ireland, France and South Africa all "promised millions in the bank," great stadiums and "the best tournament ever" before "figuratively plucking on the emotional heartstrings as they sought to earn the right to host" the 2023 Rugby World Cup, according to Mitch Phillips of REUTERS. Ireland, which has never been the main host, is the bookmaker’s favorite, ahead of South Africa, which hosted a tournament "against an extraordinary emotional, social and political backdrop" in '95. France was "the outsider ahead of Monday's presentations in London." The host nation for the 10th edition of the event will be announced on Nov. 15, though it would be a "huge surprise" if the World Rugby Council were to "go against the World Cup board," which will declare its recommended candidate on Oct. 31. The 2015 World Cup in England "set records in terms of ticket sales, TV viewing figures and income" but Japan, the host of the first Asian World Cup in '19, "will make much less money." Consequently, "cash was a big feature" of all three '23 bids, "with each making a big issue of their governmental financial securities and guaranteed profits, as well as great existing stadiums and minimal travel" -- meaning points of difference "needed to be found elsewhere" (REUTERS, 9/25).