All Blacks support SA 2023 World Cup bid

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Jeff Wilson
  • Post published:November 1, 2017

Former and current All Blacks have endorsed South Africa’s bid to host the 2023 World Cup.

On Tuesday, World Rugby announced that South Africa was its preferred candidate to host the World Cup. SA scored 78.97%, while France’s bid came second (75.88%) and Ireland’s third (72.25%).

The recommendation will now be put to the vote of the World Rugby Council in London on 15 November. All three candidates will appear on the ballot paper, but World Rugby has stressed to its members that recommendation of the Evaluation Committee should be taken into consideration.

Former All Blacks wing Jeff Wilson, who played against the Springboks in the 1995 final, said another World Cup in South Africa would be special.

‘It’s great for South Africa – 1995 was an outstanding tournament, the first as we were going into professional rugby, and as a player at that it was something special,’ Wilson told’s Marc Hinton.

‘They’re a passionate rugby country, they’ve got the stadiums on the back of the football World Cup, so they’re going to be played in the right places. For a country that needs a boost in some shape or form of rugby this is ideal for them.

‘It has to be a great fillip. I know they’re going to run a special event because they’ve got a country that’s passionate about the game.’

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All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster and flanker Jerome Kaino also threw their support behind SA’s bid.

‘In a lot of ways it seems common sense from our side of it,’ said Foster. ‘They’re a massive historical part of the world rugby scene and have only had one World Cup, so from that side it’s great. And maybe they can get rid of some of those old stadiums and move to some of their new ones.

‘Then it will be the challenges of them delivering on what they’ve spoken about as a country and hopefully that can galvanise them a bit.’

Kaino added: ‘It’s a great place to tour and I’m sure they’re more than capable of holding a successful World Cup. It will be great for their country as well.’