South Africa are likely to be confirmed as the hosts for the 2023 World Cup over Ireland and France as the World Rugby Council converge for a voting process in London on Wednesday.
South Africa were already backed by the World Rugby board taking into consideration the vision, tournament scheduling, and organising process, infrastructure, venues for the tournament and financial commitments presented by the three countries. South Africa ranked the highest with 78.97 per cent, with France on 75.88 per cent and Ireland 72.25 per cent.
However, Ireland were unwilling to relent and continued to remain upbeat about their chances of hosting the showpiece event with head coach Joe Schmidt even hoping that their recent 30-3 thumping of the Springboks in Dublin will aid in their chances of claiming the rights to host the tournament.
"This could really put the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) in the shop window when people are voting on Wednesday," Schmidt said in the wake of Ireland's fine victory over South Africa.
Schmidt's position and the IRFU's fight to overturn South Africa's advantage has run as far as chief executive Philip Browne writing a letter to World Rugby to challenge the independent process behind the preferred bidder recommendation.
World Rugby publicly acknowledged receipt of that behind-the scenes letter on Friday, in order to consider the matter closed.
"World Rugby can confirm that it has addressed in full, clarification requests by the Rugby World Cup 2023 host candidates and council members," read World Rugby's statement.
"The ability to submit clarification requests following the publication of the recommendation and comprehensive report on 31 October was agreed and permitted within the host selection process operated by World Rugby.
"These clarifications have been addressed with significant supporting detail, and have been shared with the host candidates and World Rugby council.
"The comprehensive and objective responses reflect the transparent principles at the heart of the independently audited process. They do not impact on the detail or outcomes of the evaluation report nor on the subsequent recommendation."
The only time South Africa hosted a World Cup was in 1995 during which they emerged victorious under Francois Pienaar's captaincy.