WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew says all three bids to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup are "compelling" and New Zealand will be guided by independent advice in deciding which to prefer.
France, Ireland, and South Africa will present their bids to World Rugby in London next week and have already visited New Zealand to make their pitches to the NZR board. Tew said after seeing the bid presentations, New Zealand has "a good feel for what they have."
World Rugby has enlisted two companies to evaluate the bids on behalf of Rugby World Cup Ltd. which will then make a recommendation to the World Rugby council. Voting among member nations of the council will take place in November.
Tew said New Zealand would be "heavily influenced by the recommendation" of Rugby World Cup Ltd.
"It seems odd to have an independent evaluation process done and then ignore the recommendation," Tew said. "Unless there is a very, very good reason to do that. We don't play any other games in rugby, so that is where we are at."
Tew said the standard of the bids was high and all three had been able to meet World Rugby's requirement of a $220 million hosting fee. France is reported to have offered an additional $53 million on top of that amount.
"All are putting a decent chunk of money on the table which is important because World Rugby only generates four years' worth of expense income in the one event," Tew said.