South African Rugby
SA World Cup bid gathers momentum
Scrum.com
February 3, 2009
Francois Pienaar leads his team in celebration after winning the World Cup, South Africa v New Zealand, World Cup final, Ellis Park, June 24 1995.
South Africa are aiming to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1995 World Cup by hosting the tournament in 2015 © Getty Images
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South Africa's bid for the 2015 Rugby World Cup has received a boost following meetings with the country's government.

South Africa are bidding to host either the 2015 or 2019 World Cups, and will be expected to present their case to the IRB In May. A delegation consisting of South African Rugby Union (SARU) members plus delegates from the IRB met with sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile and deputy minister Mr Gert Oosthuizen in Cape Town for an information-sharing session.

Amongst the delegation were IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset and SARU President Oregan Hoskins, and they were pleased with the amount of enthusiasm shown by the South African government.

"We were delighted with the meeting and very pleased with the government's expression of support for the South African Rugby union's bid," said Lapasset. "A tournament of this size - the third-largest sporting event in the world - is not possible without a close partnership between the government and the rugby union and we were impressed with the enthusiasm and the support the government offered."

The IRB members shared information on the economic impact of the tournament, thought to be worth up to 28 billion rand, and also the importance of co-operation between union and government.

"The meeting surpassed my expectations and I was very heartened by the minister's attitude," said Hoskins. "His attitude augurs very well for us and I left the meeting feeling that this was a very important moment for our bid. The minister stressed that the infrastructure will be in place at the stadiums and across the country and that, as South Africa is a rugby-mad country, that they would be delighted and honoured to host the World Cup.

"It would be a significant moment to host the tournament on the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, an event which did so much to assist in the growth of nation-building in the country."

The 1995 World Cup produced a seminal moment in South African and rugby history when Nelson Mandela presented Springbok captain Francois Pienaar with the trophy following their 15-12 win over New Zealand in the final.

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