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France slams World Rugby

Sunday, November 05, 2017

PARIS - French federation president Bernard Laporte has dismissed the evaluation report that recommended South Africa ahead of France and Ireland as host of the 2023 Rugby World Cup as "nonsense", full of blatant errors and a result of incompetence.

World Rugby's board on Tuesday recommended that South Africa host the event, placing France in second position and Ireland in third ahead of the decisive vote by the governing body's council on November 15.

"We wrote to (World Rugby chairman) Bill Beaumont to point out several blatant errors," Laporte told Reuters on Friday.

"I don't believe in bad faith. I rather think that it's incompetence."

A spokesman for World Rugby said the governing body was unable to comment on the matter.

South Africa received an overall score of 78.97 per cent in the report to 75.88 for France and 72.25 for Ireland on a selection of weighted criteria.

"How come we are less well marked than South Africa on hotels? They're saying there are not enough hotel rooms in St Etienne. They hosted Euro 2016 matches, there are 1500 rooms there. It's nonsense," the former Toulon and France coach said.

Laporte also said the evaluation was carried out mostly by World Rugby employees and "not by two auditing firms as it was supposed to be". "We are not happy about that," he said.

South Africa earned better marks than France on stadium plans. South Africa benefits from facilities from the 2010 soccer World Cup, but Laporte said France was also well-served, having staged the European soccer championship last year.

The South African, French and Irish federations will not take part in the vote.

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