In a surprise move, France has been announced as the host of the Rugby World Cup in 2023, following an announcement by World Rugby in London.
The double-blow for Ireland comes in the fact that France secured the nomination, which makes the possibility of a 2027 bid extremely unlikely given it would be unusual for the tournament to be held in Europe consecutively.
Former Springboks winger Ashwin Willemse, who was in the squad when South Africa last lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy in France in 2007, believes the recommendation of the Rugby World Cup Board should be binding, something SA Rugby will push for in the future.
The World Rugby council failed to find a majority in the first round of voting at a secret ballot in London, in which Ireland were eliminated after receiving the fewest number of votes (8 out of 39).
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T.D. and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. today congratulated the winning hosts of the Rugby World Cup 2023, France and thanked all the parties who produced a World Class Bid from Ireland.
Initially when unveiling their bid Ireland promised World Rugby "we have the infrastructure, the stadiums, the visitor accommodation, key facilities and access".
"But obviously I am delighted for France, they have run a World Cup before and we are really excited for the tournament".
The French were highly critical of an evaluation report which said South Africa should be chosen. World Rugby had a choice of three excellent contenders.
South Africa, which staged the 1995 World Cup and won it in their first appearance after missing the first two because of the apartheid sporting ban, had been odds-on favourite after coming out clearly on top in the evaluation report.
"You would have thought [that they would support us] but the Scots went for the money and effectively said to us that they would vote for the bid that produces the most monies".
Ultimately, the rugby world is reeling and IRFU's Chief Executive Phillip Browne outlined his disappointment to Matt Cooper on Today FM with the Scots and Welsh some of the focus of that disappointment. We wish them every success as they turn their attention to delivering an outstanding tournament.