South Africa’s plans to launch a successful bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup is still on track despite initial fears that they would not be allowed to bid.
That was the word from South African Rugby Union president Mark Alexander who said his organisation had engaged with the South African government after the country's sport's minister Fikile Mbalula and the Department of Sport and Recreation banned its cricket and rugby teams from bidding for international tournaments.
This, after an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) inquiry found that the sports teams had failed to meet their transformation standards.
That decision was made in April and with the next EPG report card set to be released early in 2017.
"We’re now qualified to go to the next stage of the bid process," he told Sport24.
"We have to put a bid in before the end of May. We are on track with the work we had to do. We still have to go to the government and get final permission to bid. That all depends on our balance scorecard. We believe we’re on track with our balance scorecard … we’ve got a computerised system that tracks that. So, I think we’re on track."
A final decision on where the 2023 Rugby World Cup will be held is expected in November 2017, with France, Ireland and Italy also in the running to host the global showpiece.