SA's RWC 2011 destiny nears

2005-11-17 12:22

Cape Town - The race to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup is hotting up. South Africa, New Zealand and Japan will present their respective bids in just a few hours time to the council

After lunch and following the interim council meeting, the council will vote to decide the RWC 2011 host union.

The voting procedure will be managed independently by an external auditor and will progress as follows:

All three unions will enter the first round of voting; the union with the least number of votes will drop out and this will be announced to council; the two remaining unions will enter a second round of voting; the auditor will then declare that a majority vote has been recorded but not the winning union; the announcement of the host union will be made exclusively at a media conference.

Council members representing the three tender unions will not be permitted to vote in the first round. Members may vote in the second round if their union has been excluded.

Meanwhile, SA's Bid CEO Francois Pienaar admitted that he is starting to feel the tension ahead of the big announcement.

"I am quite nervous," admitted Pienaar, who lead the Springboks to World Cup glory the last time South Africa hosted rugby's showpiece event in 1995.

"It is a close race and it is a very tough decision for the IRB to take."

Many former international captains have placed their weight behind Asian nation Japan as they believe this would be the ideal way to increase the global appeal of the sport.

Pienaar, however, believes that the African continent has the same potential.

"On the field should we win it would allow the sport to grow in Africa. We have seen already how in the discipline of sevens African countries are able to compete with the best. There is vast potential for the sport to grow in Africa," he said.

The media conference to announce the winner has been scheduled to take place from about 18:00.

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