Despite government opposition, South Africa is featuring among the four candidates to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Rugby World announced on Friday.
South Africa – who won the trophy when they previously hosted the global showpiece in 1995 – will contest the race with Ireland, Italy and France.
France hosted the World Cup in 2007 – South Africa winning the title for the second time – while Ireland hosted games in the 1991 edition.
“We are delighted by the strong level of serious interest from unions and governments, which truly underscores the enormous hosting appeal of Rugby World Cup as a low-investment, low-risk, high-return economic, social and sporting driver,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.
The four candidates will be assessed to see if they meet the criteria laid out by World Rugby. The unsuccessful bidders will learn their fate on November 1.