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Executive members of World Rugby scheduled their first meeting with the French Rugby Federation (FFR), consisting of preliminary talks about the 10th World Cup to be hosted by France in 2023. It may seem early in the process with the event five-years down-the-road, but for coordinating purposes it's the right time to consider a chronological sequence of necessary planning events.
It's important to remember that these quadrennial Men's World Cups generate the greater share of World Rugby's budget, including, importantly, the amount given to each country for growth and development. To that end, every nation hopes for a successful RWC and the subsequent post tournament influx of significant income.
The decision to award France the 2023 RWC was determined solely by its promise of offering the largest sum ($399 million) to World Rugby, an amount far greater than the proffers from South Africa or Ireland. One can argue that this singular, monetary variable is unfair to nations that cannot meet the higher bid of wealthier countries. But, for example, USA Rugby would experience a shortfall of investment monies if World Rugby chose a host proposing a substantially lesser amount than another RWC competitor (e.g.; South Africa's $313 million).
Currently, Australia is considering a bid for the 2027 RWC and it's valid to wonder whether or not there will be European nations that will also make other offers. The French decision caused a negative reaction in South Africa, which was initially selected as the RWC 2023 host only to see its victory dashed in the second, "show us the money" vote.
The consensus is that World Rugby is slightly worried about the upcoming RWC in Japan 2019, apprehensive that attendance - certainly, from Europe - will be low. In addition, how many Japanese will buy tickets for rugby, a marginally unfamiliar sport?
These concerns may have influenced the World Rugby second round voters to greenlight France's guarantee, knowing that if Japan does not meet 2019 expectations, then four-years later the RWC in 2023 will a represent a financial bonanza.
For the record, France hosted a brilliant 2007 RWC, which, at that time, was the most attended event and there is every reason to believe it will repeat its success in 2023. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics, and the 2023 RWC will serve as a tune up for the next year's Olympic venue.