Ireland's Rugby World Cup bid ended in failure today as the nation could only muster eight votes. It is a shambolic end to a campaign significantly hampered by World Rugby's technical review report. Since then the writing has very much been on the wall.
In the aftermath of World Rugby's report both Ireland and France embarked on a rigorous campaign both in public and in private to convince federations to vote against the recommendation.
IRFU chief executive Philip Browne has confirmed to the Irish Times that both Wales and Scotland did not vote for Ireland's bid.
The bottom line is that we were disappointed that Scotland and Wales didn’t vote for us. They had reasons. Scotland wanted to go for the money and Wales wanted to effectively support Gareth Davies, who was part of the evaluation process.
This implies Ireland's vote likely came from England 3, North America 2, USA 1, Canada 1 and one other nation.
The bid's committee, including chief Dick Spring, Browne and ambassador Brian O'Driscoll will be disappointed that their efforts did not generate more support.
The double-blow for Ireland comes in the fact that France secured the nomination, which makes the possibility of a 2027 bid extremely unlikely given it would be unusual for the tournament to be held in Europe consecutively.
Initially when unveiling their bid Ireland promised World Rugby "we have the infrastructure, the stadiums, the visitor accommodation, key facilities and access." It is clear that message didn't land with many of the other rugby unions.
Browne thanked the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland governments for their support.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 15, 2017
For World Rugby, there is some embarrassment in their report's recommendation being rejected. The independent report was introduced in order to eradicate the wheeler-dealer nature of lobbying that has surrounded the bidding process in the past.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont told a press conference that he stands over the system:
A humiliation for me? I don’t think so. I don’t think that at all. There’s always got to be one recommendation in the evaluation process and that was South Africa.
If you look, there wasn’t a great deal between France and South Africa in the evaluation report. It was very close. We feel the process has been absolutely transparent. Everyone’s been able to see how the scoring was.
You can read the Irish Times piece here.