South Africa’s new Minister of Sport and Recreation, Thulas Nxesi has expressed commitment towards ensuring the country emerge the host nation of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
According to the Minister, Hosting the tenth Rugby World Cup in South Africa would like the 2010 Soccer World Cup, make a huge positive impact on the country.
Minister Nxesi expressed this sentiment when he visited SA Rugby headquarters in Cape Town on Tuesday.
The Minister met with the Executives of SA Rugby. Speaking after the meeting, he asserted that Rugby is very important in South Africa.
“We know our team had a slump last year, but we believe we will go back to where we belong as South African rugby. Today’s meeting was basically a meet and greet and part of my campaign of listening and learning with all the sporting federations, finding out what their challenges are and (helping) them deal with those challenges,” he said.
The Minster thereafter talked about SA Rugby’s desire to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
“IF I were to draw on my experiences from the Soccer World Cup in 2010 in terms of nation building,” he said, “we saw both black and white in the stands supporting Bafana Bafana and enjoying the football.
“The legacy of that tournament amongst black and white is very important. A big part of that legacy” he continued, “is the stadia which were built…we have the necessary infrastructure in place already and we don’t have to start from scratch.
“It means the hosting costs would be seriously reduced and I believe that the hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 2023 can also leave a huge legacy and make a big impact, just like soccer did.”
Meanwhile, several countries have declared their interest in hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Apart from South Africa other countries that indicated interest include France Ireland, Italy and USA.
From our gatherings, the bidding process formally started on 14th May 2015. World Rugby later confirmed that France, Ireland, Italy and South Africa are the nations bidding to host the tournament. Italy withdrew its bid in 2016 leaving France, Ireland and SA to fight-out hosting the William Webb Ellis’ game for 2023.