France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup, beating South Africa & Ireland

    France is hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup a year before the Summer Olympics are held in Paris

    Story highlights

    • 2023 Rugby World Cup to be held in France
    • South Africa were favorites to host tournament

    (CNN)France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after the country surprisingly beat rival bids from South Africa and Ireland in a secret World Rugby council ballot on Wednesday.

    South Africa was expected to win the nomination after an independent evaluation report by World Rugby, the sport's international governing body, last month identified the Rainbow Nation -- which hosted the tournament in 1995 -- as the "clear leader" ahead of France and Ireland.
      But it is France which will stage the 10th edition of rugby union's most prestigious competition -- a tournament it has staged before, in 2007.
      It will be a busy period for France, with the 2023 Rugby World Cup coming a year before Paris hosts the Summer Olympics.
      France has reached the Rugby World Cup final on three occasions