Alexander makes World Rugby RWC 2023 promise

Mark Alexander (Gallo Images)
Mark Alexander (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - South African Rugby Union President Mark Alexander has promised World Rugby that the 2023 Rugby World Cup, should it be in South Africa, will be unrivalled in terms of player welfare.

South Africa’s 2023 Rugby World Cup bid focuses on making the tournament the most player centric in the tournament’s history.

‘South Africa’s climate, stadia and playing conditions make for the perfect setting for any rugby player and South Africa is renowned for its hosting ability. The promise from South Africa is that 2023 will be an international benchmark for player welfare standards, for all teams,’ said Alexander.

South Africa’s World Cup vision, according to Alexander, is to showcase the very best rugby has to offer, inspiring South Africa, Africa and the world.

‘Our commitment to player welfare is evidenced by recent HSBC World Rugby Series awards in which the 2014 Nelson Mandela Bay experience was voted the most player-centric  and the 2015 event in Cape Town was voted the best tournament on the circuit and the most player-centric.’ 

‘South Africa’s bid vision is strongly aligned to World Rugby’s vision that rugby is a sport for all, and we promise a tournament that speaks to World Rugby’s mission of delivering a truly global mass-participation sport, and an event that protects the ethos of rugby’s 200-year history and promotes the core values of integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline.’

SA will deliver a tournament with eight match venues, centered on a match schedule and team base solution specifically designed to maximize player welfare ahead of cost or any other considerations. 

South Africa’s bid ensures: 

* Minimised team travel between host cities

* No hotel checkout for matches away from the host city team bases during the pool stages

* Shorter than required distances between team hotels, training venues and match venues, with all these coach trips supported by traffic escorts

* Customised and consistent world-class hotel accommodation in premium hotels with experience of hosting international sports team, with additional budget to create a first-class team room environment

* Premium-quality team base options, with all required high-quality training facilities in a single location 

* Highly trained local liaison officers with international rugby experience, working in their home cities

SA Rugby has already identified an extensive list of all possible team hotels and these hotels have extensive experience in hosting international sports teams. The quality of the rooms, the age of the hotel, the room size, the team facilities, proximity to training and match venues and nearby amenities are unrivalled.

Another of the advantages is the quality of training facilities and training fields, which will all be within 20 minutes drive of the team hotel.  All facilities required, outdoor training field, swimming pool, gymnasium and indoor training facility are all hosted in one location.

‘All training venue options identified are a maximum of 17 minutes travel time from the teams’ accommodation, which surpasses by 13 minutes the defined 30 minute requirement; all training venue facilities are grouped in one location and all team hotels selection are premium hotels with experience in hosting international sports team and will be less than 30 minutes from the match venue,’ said Alexander. ‘This is unprecedented in the history of the tournament and our bid speaks directly to player welfare.’

Player welfare will be at the heart of the tournament and the schedule and pool structure will be the most player friendly.

South Africa will also be investing £3.6 million to install Desso Grassmaster hybrid pitches at each match venue to ensure optimal playing conditions. 

During the Pool stages, 12 of the 20 teams will play only one away match, and the remaining eight teams will play all four matches in their base host city. All 20 teams will not have to check out of their team base hotel during the pool stages, which is unprecedented in the tournament’s history. It will also minimise travel fatigue and maximise player comfort and welfare.

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